Viral "J.R. Smith Challenge" video pokes fun at Cavaliers player's gaffe during NBA Finals
Thursday night, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, J.R. Smith made a play that will forever live in NBA infamy.
With the game tied and four seconds left, Smith rebounded a free throw miss by teammate George Hill. Instead of trying a put-back attempt, or even a pass, that potentially could've won the game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Smith inexplicably dribbled the clock out. Golden State beat Cleveland in overtime.
After the game, LeBron James' reaction to Smith became a viral meme.
The gaffe also gave 27-year-old Samuel Grubbs a great idea for a parody video, the #JRSmithChallenge
Grubbs is from Granite Falls, about a 75-minute drive from Charlotte, and he said he dropped out of college after discovering he could make a living with the funny videos he was posting on social media.
He said he eventually gained more than 1 million followers on Vine, a social media app that allowed users to post short six-second videos. Twitter bought Vine in 2012 and shut it down five years later.
Grubbs migrated to Instagram, where he now has nearly 150,000 followers.
Grubbs got the idea to parody Smith basically running out the clock almost as soon as he watched it.
Grubbs' video shows him basically getting the rebound, just like Smith did, but at Charlotte's Reedy Creek Park instead of Golden State's Oracle Arena. Next? Grubbs starts dribbling like Forrest Gump, all while the actual audio from the ABC broadcasters is overlaid over the video.
It's an effect that's turned several social media posters into stars, including famous basketball video parody maker Brandon Armstrong, who has made a living out of impersonating NBA players on video.
Grubbs said he shot the piece at Reedy Creek, along 485 near Concord Mills, as well as in the actual mall and a nearby Walmart.
"Nobody stopped me while we were filming it," he said. "But there were a few people dying laughing, and they understood the reference without me saying anything."
In the video, there's a character playing LeBron James, wearing James' jersey, and he's chasing Grubbs, begging him for the ball before time runs out. But Grubbs keeps dribbling and dribbling. He dribbles out of the park. He dribbles down 485. He dribbles through Walmart.
He won't stop.
Grubbs said his video work has drawn the attention of some large media companies and advertisers and that's he's created some videos for profit for them. He said his videos never include any cursing or sexual content. Grubbs is a verified Twitter and Instagram user, and he said he's "super lucky" to be able to make a living doing what he does.
"God has definitely blessed my socks off with it," Grubbs said. "I used to do random comedy, but now I've shifted just to sports and adding humor with it. There are tons of people who like sports, but everyone likes comedy."
To see more of Grubbs' work, click here.
Below is the J.R. Smith parody video.