The first quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals featured a frenetic pace and plenty of highlight-reel plays. Unfortunately for Jeff Van Gundy, who was helping call the contest for ABC, he missed one of those of plays, which just happened to be a thunderous dunk by LeBron James.
Of course, as Van Gundy told his national audience Thursday, he had a good excuse: he was distracted by a certain pop star. “I don’t know about this, but Rihanna just walked in front of me,” he said. “Are you kidding me?”
“Stay with the game!” admonished announcer Mike Breen, as Van Gundy’s fellow analyst, Mark Jackson chortled. In fairness to Van Gundy, Rihanna might have legitimately obstructed his view given that she had a courtside seat.
Not to break Van Gundy’s heart, but Rihanna wasn’t at Oracle Arena to see him, or, for that matter, the Warriors. The Barbadian singer has frequently displayed her admiration for James, including during last year’s Finals, when she posted to social media several messages of support — if not something more — for the Cavaliers star.
Unfortunately for Rihanna, not to mention James, Thursday was not the Cavs’ night, as the Warriors built a halftime lead and then quickly pulled away. Well, there’s always Game 2, when Rihanna might try again to distract Kevin Durant.
More from the NBA Finals:
Russell Westbrook took a pass on Game 1 and watched “Sister Act II” instead
NBA stars read some really mean tweets about themselves before Game 1
Kevin Durant scores 38 points as Warriors blow out Cavaliers in Game 1
Kevin Durant reportedly willing to take less to help Warriors
Adam Silver, NBA considering blowing up age-limit rule
Commissioner defends bringing All-Star Game back to N.C.
Draymond Green says he’s learned to control outbursts since 2016 Finals
Kyrie Irving consulted Kobe Bryant to avoid a Shaq-like feud with LeBron James
Steve Kerr mills return, doesn’t want to be a ‘distraction’