2018 NBA Finals: LeBron James storms out of Game 1 press conference, tells reporter to 'be better tomorrow'

Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers was anything but dull. Sure, the Warriors are massive favorites to repeat as champions, but the series opener was a thrill, with the first 47:55 minutes of regulation being beautifully executed by both teams.

Unfortunately, the final five seconds of regulation were not so brilliant. George Hill missed a free throw that could have put the Cavaliers ahead, only to see J.R. Smith grab the rebound, then dribble out the final few seconds instead of putting up a potential game-winning shot. 

As it was, the game went to overtime, where the Warriors pulled away for a 124-114 win. It was an anticlimactic end to what had been an amazing game. Instead of the big baskets scored by players on each team, the focus was on the mistakes made by Smith -- as well as some controversial calls by the refs

It was understandable, though, as everyone wanted to know what Smith was thinking when he pulled the ball out. After the game, Ty Lue said that Smith simply didn't know the score, and thought the Cavs were winning. 

This almost certainly is the case, but Smith told reporters that he was trying to bring the ball out to get a shot, and expected someone would call timeout. 

When LeBron James came to the podium, reporters tried to get the truth out of him, but "The King" would not divulge any secrets. After a few non-answers from LeBron, the reporter continued to ask the same question, but in a slightly different way. Fed up, and assuredly frustrated from the devastating loss -- his 51 points, eight rebounds and eight assists weren't enough -- LeBron simply called it a wrap on his press conference. 

He stormed out in his suit shorts, and told the reporter to "be better tomorrow."

Well then. 

This is a tough situation for both people. The reporter is trying to do his job and get an answer about the biggest moment of the game from the best player in the world. But at the same time, LeBron is trying not to embarrass his teammate or throw him under the bus. Obviously Smith thought the Cavs were winning, but LeBron isn't just going to go up to the podium and say, "yeah, J.R. was an idiot there."

And so it results in this game of stalemate, where the reporter wants an answer and LeBron won't give one. And eventually LeBron just had enough.

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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