LeBron James's NBA Finals Reaction

LeBron James's NBA Finals Reaction

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Updated Jun 01, 2018 at 12:34PM EDT by Matt.

Added Jun 01, 2018 at 11:45AM EDT by Matt.

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LeBron James's NBA Finals Reaction refers to a series of images of American professional basketball player Lebron James with his arms stretched to the side and speaking to teammate J.R. Smith with great emotion. Online, James's reaction, which seemed to express disappointment with Smith's performance during the game, has been used to convey frustration with an supposedly obvious mistake.


On May 31st, 2018, during game one of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the Cavaliers's J.R. Smith, with less than five seconds left in the game, appeared to dribble as time ran out in the game. Following the play, Smith's teammate seemed to confront the player and extended his hands as a means of showing Smith his mistake (shown below).

Moments after the game, people began sharing the image of Lebron James with his arms out. Twitter [1] user @its_whitney tweeted the image with the caption "this moment is going down in nba history." The post (shown below) received more than 8,800 retweets and 29,000 likes in 24 hours.

this moment is going down in nba history


Following the game, people began captioning the moment as a expression of frustration. Twitter[2] user @David_C_Steele tweeted, "'We just left a rest stop! Why didn’t you go then?'" The post (shown below, left) received more than 3,500 retweets and 14,000 likes in 24 hours.

Twitter[3] user @jordanlange25 tweeted a mock conversation between James and Smith, comparing it to a moment from SpongeBob SquarePants. The post (shown below, center) received more than 8,500 retweets and 23,000 likes in 24 hours.

Additionally, people began posting photoshopped versions of the moment. Twitter[4] @natt0 posted a variation of the Distracted Boyfriend memes featuring the players. The post (shown below, right) received more than 42,000 retweets and 99,000 likes in 24 hours.

That evening, Twitter[5] published a Moments page about the meme.

Several media outlets covered the meme, including Sports Illustrated,[6] BuzzFeed, [7] Mashable, [8] Business Insider[9] and more.

"We just left a rest stop! Why didn't you go then?” LeBron to JR Smith: "TAKE THE BALL AND PUT IT IN THE HOOP', #NBAFinals 3 We're ahead. @natto

Various Examples

Literally all the Avengers talking to Star-Lord after THAT moment in "Infinity War." #NBAFinals 3 C0 SMITH When you leave all the doors open but your dog poops in the house anyway
When the Chopped contestant goes to the ice cream machine I...worked on this story for a year...and...he just...he tweeted it out when your mom is yelling at you for something your sibling did #NBAFinals 3

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