*Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had to have a little talk with J.R. Smith after his sudden need to hug opponent Jason Terry resulted in a wide-open layup for the opposition.
“It was an embarrassing moment,” Lue said after Tuesday’s game. “Me and J.R. talked about it. We’re just going to move forward. We had a discussion about it, he felt embarrassed about it. It was an embarrassing play. We talked about it. We’re moving on.”
Milwaukee was about to inbound the ball with 2:57 left in the second quarter when Smith sauntered over to Terry on the sideline. That’s when Milwaukee’s Matthew Dellavedova whipped a pass to Tony Snell, who dunked the ball uncontested.
That play marked the start of a 7-0 Bucks run and the incident immediately went viral. After the game, Terry said there really wasn’t anything to it. When asked what happened with Smith coming over to say hello, Terry said, “That’s it, you got it.”
The defending NBA champions went on to get blown out 118-101.
After the game, Smith took interviews while covering his face with a ski mask/hood combo and claimed he had no recollection of his mistake.
After practice Wednesday, Lue made a point to say he didn’t believe Smith walked off the court on purpose.
“Obviously we both know it wasn’t intentional, but it was just a lack of focus,” Smith said. “One of the multiple things that compounded onto the loss was just as a team we haven’t been as focused as we previously were. Winning and being who we are has a lot to do with that, but we’ve just got to overcome that and be better as a whole. It starts as individuals and then we can collectively become a group and team and have that mindset.”
As for Smith claiming he had no memory of the on-court blunder, he clarified Wednesday that he was just trying to liven up an answer that was obvious.
“I said it more in a joking manner because you can see what happened,” Smith said. “Obviously, I wasn’t paying attention. For me to just sit there and tell you I wasn’t paying attention makes it plain and boring somewhat, especially when you’re asking a question you already know the answer to. But at the same time, I still have to give that boring answer, for whatever reason.”