Point guard George Hill has apologized to Cleveland Cavaliers fans for missing that crucial and possible game-winning free throw during Game 1 of last season's NBA Finals.
The 32-year-old, who was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, will forever be remembered for his miss against the Warriors, but of course, that will never overshadow J.R. Smith running the clock out in a tied game when a simple layup would have been the sensible thing to do.
Hill is not to blame for the Cavs getting swept by Golden State either, yet the player thought it necessary to say sorry for his miss now that he's left for the Bucks.
"Sorry I couldn't get it done when I was here for the Finals, missing that free throw, but it's nothing but love," Hill said via The Athletic. "You gotta give the organization thank you, you gotta give my teammates a huge thank you for welcoming me with open arms since I first got here, giving me a chance to play in the NBA Finals, something I've never dreamed of. So for me, it's kind of bittersweet.
"You don't want to leave a place that you create relationships with your teammates and people in the organization, front office and things like that, but, it's a business. Get another opportunity to take my talents and my game down to Milwaukee and try to help them win games as best as I can."
Hill had previously lamented over the miss, revealing that it bothered him all summer.
"You're a little depressed at first because as a player, as a competitor, you put the blame on yourself a little bit," he told the same publication last month. "All summer it kind of bothered me. If I hit that free throw, would it have been a different series? Or would it just have been 4-1? It's getting a win instead of getting skunked. But if it's 4-1 then it really doesn't matter about one f**king game. But who knows? I hit that, the pressure is on them now. Maybe it's a different series."
What This Means
Hill is the sort of player you don't hold things against. And, while his free throw could have changed the whole picture in the finals, fans likely won't think twice about accepting his apology.
Players miss free throws, important ones too - that is understandable. What's never going to be forgiven is Smith's unthinkable gaffe. And the controversy he has caused since the start of the campaign won't work in his favor where the Cavs support is concerned either.