The other day, while I read the article in which Jason Terry mocked J.R. Smith’s recent championship guarantee, something regarding the whole situation hit me: Up until that moment, there really hadn’t been much of an outcry from anyone in the basketball world.
Smith had just absurdly promised the Knicks would win the 2014 NBA Finals — even going as far as to say that he is “100 percent sure” of it — and nobody really seemed to flinch.
It’s not because it wasn’t a stupid thing to guarantee. It was, clearly. No, the reason it didn’t stir too much controversy is because the sport and its fans have grown accustomed to these kinds of things. For some reason, different NBA players seem to make stupid guarantees all the time, and it’s always been that way.
So, when someone like J.R. Smith says the Knicks are going to win the championship, we understand that it’s crazy, we laugh about it, and then we move on. In fact, it’s become such a common theme that — in light of Smith’s comments — it seems appropriate to go back and remember some of the wackiest, least intelligent guarantees that have ever been uttered.
So, without any further ado, here are the top 10 most outrageous guarantees in NBA history.
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10. JOAKIM NOAH
Game 7 Guarantee, 2013 Eastern Conference First Round
I know, I know. I know what you’re thinking. “Wait! The Bulls won that Game 7 against the Nets, so how can this make the list?” Well, let’s quickly revisit the game.
In case you don’t remember, Brooklyn had all the momentum of the series after winning Games 5 and 6, and Game 7 was set to be played at Barclays Center. Combine those factors along with the fact that the Bulls were going to be without so many players — namely Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Derrick Rose — and it really didn’t feel like the best situation for Noah to be making a guarantee.
But, to his credit, he did follow through, unlike most on this list. Behind his 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks, the Bulls captured an inspiring 99-93 win.
9. LeBRON JAMES
Guarantees Eight Titles
Okay, maybe this wasn’t a full-fledged guarantee, but it certainly felt like one.
It happened at the premature, obnoxious celebration that was thrown for him, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010. When asked about winning championships, and more than just one championship, LeBron responded by saying, “Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven.”
Before he, Wade and Bosh had even played together, he was talking about winning more than seven championships? LeBron said plenty of head-scratching stuff pre-2012, but this was probably the one that he would take back, if he could only take back one.