Derek Harper, enjoy this, for you are off the hook.
That's about how long it took the NBA to forget Harper's score-keeping error from the 1984 NBA Playoffs. We have a new one.
In about 30-plus years, the NBA will have moved on from J.R. Smith's latest brain fart.
The Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard/MENSA member re-upped his status as one of the dumbest players in the NBA in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
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With 4.7 seconds remaining in a tie game, Cavs guard George Hill missed a free throw that fell directly into Smith's hands a few feet from the basket. All he had to do was go back up with a short, albeit contested, shot. Or do the smart thing and get the ball to LeBron James.
Instead, Smith dribbled far away from the basket without the Cavs doing anything to win the game. The Cavs lost in OT.
Smith said after the game he knew the game was tied, but dribbled it out because he thought the team was going to call a timeout.
This is not the first time a player has lost track of the score in a big game.
Of course, one of the first had to be a Dallas Maverick.
In the 1984 NBA Western Conference semifinals, the Mavericks trailed the L.A. Lakers two games to one in the seven-game series, and were tied in Game 4. Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabaar missed a sky hook, and with 12 seconds remaining the Mavs had their chance to win it at Reunion Arena.
Harper, a rookie from Illinois, had the ball for what should have been the last shot. The Mavericks spread the floor, clearing out for Harper.
But Harper didn't shoot. Instead, he dribbled out the clock.
"We thought he was going for the win," former Mavs guard Brad Davis told me for a story I once wrote on this. "The last eight seconds were in slow motion. At about six seconds, he was backing up like he was going toward half-court. Everybody was yelling, but there was nothing you could do."
With about two seconds remaining, Harper dribbled toward mid-court with a grin. As the horn sounded, Mavs guard Rolando Blackman approached Harper with a pained look on his face. It was the same look LeBron gave J.R. Smith at the end of Game 1.
"At the time it bothered Harp'," Davis said. "But, going into overtime, he was such a strong-minded person, it didn't bother him anymore."
Early in overtime, Harper hit a long jumper for a 110-108 lead; but the Mavericks eventually lost, 122-115. The Mavs lost the series in Game 5.
"It was a mistake and I think I learned from it," Harper told the L.A. Times in a 1988 article. "It's annoying to keep hearing about it. It's something that doesn't happen too often. I didn't expect to go jump off a roof after it. But I don't think a lot of people expected to hear from me again. I think they thought it would ruin my career."
Harper played 17 NBA seasons, and recently had his jersey retired by the Mavs.
J.R. Smith, give it a few decades and some other unlucky dude will do the same thing.