(Submitted by Jonathan Tjarks)
My fascination with airballed free throws has been well-documented. But while that list is dozens long, the grand master list in the sky of airballed layups has to be far shorter. In fact, this might be the only one. I am confident in stating that this is the worst layup attempt in the history of the NBA.
1. The shot clock is turned off with 23 seconds left in regulation, and the game is tied. There is absolutely zero justification for J.R. Smith chucking up a three-ball in this situation. This isn't a "well, he gambled and fell short" sort of mistake, either. Even if he'd hit the three, it would have been a mistake; that shot just shouldn't be taken no matter how open it is. It's like stopping in the middle of a NASCAR race to eat a burrito according to the logic that burritos are delicious.
2. Less than a month ago, the Knicks made it into THIS WEEK IN GIFs for doing basically the exact same thing. (That time, it was Andrea Bargnani.)
3. Knicks coach Mike Woodson, after the game: "Did Beno [Udrih] have to throw him the ball?" His own coach seems to know that noted hilarious weird-ass J.R. Smith cannot be trusted to do not-terrible things with the ball in that situation.
4. In other J.R. Smith news this morning, we've learned that he once ordered $3,000 worth of room service food at a hotel. It's unclear whether he ate any of it. He just kept stacking uneaten plate upon uneaten plate, and kept ordering because he wanted to see whether they'd keep bringing it.
5. Whenever I run a franchise in an NBA 2K game, I always make sure to get J.R. Smith on my team. His video game self is supremely effective, because he makes none of his own decisions
6. J.R. Smith remains my second-favorite player in the NBA. My favorite is LeBron James.
Statistically speaking, quarterbacks have certainly had worse playoff games than the one Andy Dalton filed against the Chargers last weekend, but I don't know if I've seen a quarterback look more terribly lost. Melvin Ingram is clearly in front of the receiver right there. He's a big guy in a white shirt. Dalton had plenty of protection in the pocket, too.
This lives beyond the realm of poor decision-making, or being outplayed, or any other such thing. This is just a man getting his ass kicked by himself because he's horrible at what he's doing.
GUS JOHNSON / BILL RAFTERY
This is an commercial for Fox Sports One that briefly surfaced this week. It's since been wiped off the face of the Internet; as far as I'm able to find, this GIF is just about all that remains.
Among other things, it's damaging the image I've maintained of Bill Raftery as the kind of dude who gives Yahtzee to everyone for all of their birthdays, and appears in 500 different images on Flickr titled "Dad taking it easy on the recliner!", and cooks steaks well-done in an apron he bought on SkyMall, and casually refers to soft drinks he keeps in his house as "colas," and winces when he flips the channel and sees it's the newer Jonny Quest, and keeps a little plastic gumball machine in the living room, and offers to give you some quarters for it when you come over. This is a foreign Raftery.
This is a fan at the Alabama-Oklahoma game properly demonstrating the grenade of hand-to-hand fighting. Just chuck yourself and flail your limbs for all they're worth. Of special note is the dude in the white shirt toward the left. I don't know what he's staring at that could possibly be more interesting.
As a fan, the most devastating loss of my entire life was the 1990 Wild Card game between the Chiefs and Dolphins. Eight-year-old me was too young to understand that a 16-3 lead could disappear, and too immature to remind myself that sports were just a bunch of dumb sports.
It held that title for 23 years until last Saturday. The Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles, the centerpiece of their not-explosive offense, almost immediately. And then they exploded anyway, building a 38-10 halftime lead. A lead that large had only been lost once in the history of the NFL playoffs.
So when it happened again, it of course had to happen to the Chiefs, who had performed through critical injuries all game, and who had finished 0-6 in playoff games over the last 20 years, and it certainly had to be delivered by the team who accounted for three of those losses.
A couple days later, I was listening to a podcast that was talking about the game, and I had to turn it off. It just hurt. Sports hadn't made me actually hurt in over 20 years.
I just wanted to share my story about what it's like to be a privileged white man whose favorite team lost a game. Be sure to ask the librarian before printing out this article. There is usually a small fee, and you will need to frame it yourself.