Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals was chalk full of intrigue. From J.R. Smith’s late-game gaffe to LeBron James’ otherworldly performance, it’s a game that will be talked about for years to come.
And then, of course, there were the extracurricular activities.
After tying the game in regulation thanks to Smith and a reversed block/charge call, the Golden State Warriors blew past the Cleveland Cavaliers in the overtime period. With time winding down, Stephen Curry went to put the icing on the cake with an easy layup, but James pinned it against the backboard and from there, the trash talk ensued.
Many have wondered what happened in that heated moment, with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst saying on Zach Lowe’s “The Lowe Post” podcast that James told Curry to “get the (expletive) out of his face.”
We finally got a first-hand account of the exchange when Curry discussed the moment on “The Bill Simmons” podcast with host Bill Simmons.
“It was never going to spill over to that,” Curry said. “But it was an interesting moment … I was hot because I was trying to finish out a possession, I think it was less than a minute left, I didn’t see him coming over from the weak side so I tried to do a little soft scoop layup and he pinned it. Then he stared me down and he said something to me.
“And I was like, ‘That’s what we’re really on right now? We’re about to win and you’re worried about mean-blocking my shot and talking trash?’ And then the whole Tristan (Thompson) and Draymond (Green) thing happened and I went back up to him and I was like, ‘Yo, what’s up? Is this really what we’re about right now?’
“And he was like, ‘I gotta do that to make sure my teammates know I’m a mentor’ and it’s a part of his leadership and that type of deal. And I was like, ‘I don’t want to be the sacrificial lamb for your leadership.’ Come on man, that’s messed up.”
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