Scenes from the NBA Finals: The moments that have social media buzzing

Like most of us, JR Smith has a few group texts with his close friends. While he’s playing basketball, they keep an eye out for the Internet memes of the day or viral video clips, especially if they involve their unorthodox friend.

After Game 2 of the NBA Finals, they, like many others on various social media outlets, buzzed about a video showing the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Smith, teammate LeBron James and two fans who were fighting. The fracas was occurring as the two players neared the exit, and Smith pushed James away from it, placing his body between James and the fans.

“Yeah, I can’t let nobody get close to the King,” Smith said. “I’m one of his knights; that’s what I’m here for.”

So far, the NBA Finals haven’t offered much drama on the court. The Golden State Warriors won the first game by 22 points and the second game by 19. But there are moments within each game that capture the imagination of those watching. Some moments have celebrated spectacular plays, some have ridiculed poor ones, and some have taken advantage of very visible celebrities. Before the game ends, they’re clipped and shared thousands of times, perhaps paired with a witty comment. Then their subjects do their best to ignore them.

“If you let something as silly as social media affect you anyway, you’re mentally weak and it doesn’t really matter,” Smith said.

The first viral moment of these Finals involved pop star Rihanna and Warriors star forward Kevin Durant. The singer heckled Durant during the game, and Durant seemed to stare in her direction after scoring. At one point, Rihanna stood up from her courtside seat and bowed to LeBron James. After the Cavaliers’ loss, she walked by a crowd of media and declared James was “still the King” in a moment captured on videos that then went viral.

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