Following another stunning victory by the Toronto Raptors over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, ESPN host Stephen A. Smith apologized to “all Canadians everywhere” for doubting the Raptors.
After quickly falling behind 2-0 in the Eastern Conference final, the Raptors delivered back-to-back wins over the Victoria Day weekend to tie the series, leading to an apology on-air Monday from a stunned Smith.
“I can’t put into words how stunned I am, I can’t believe what I saw,” Smith said.
“I gotta be a man of my word and just apologize to Canada (and) all Canadians everywhere because I certainly thought that this was going back to Cleveland, 3-1 … with the Cavs closing this series out on Wednesday night so I wouldn’t have to go back to Canada and go through customs and all that other nonsense.”
READ MORE: Raptors beat Cavs 105-99 to even series 2-2
Smith said he was at a loss to describe how the Cavs, who were undefeated in the playoffs, managed to lose two in a row.
“Kyle Lowry was absolutely unstoppable tonight, I don’t understand why. DeMar DeRozan was unstoppable when it counted, I don’t understand why considering that LeBron James had been on him a couple of times.”
“In the end, it’s inexplicable,” Smith said. “I can’t understand what’s happened to Cleveland right now. They don’t resemble the team that has won 10 straight playoff games prior to losing the last two.”
Other sports writers and analysts tweeted their apologies to Toronto.
While many talking heads had counted out the Raptors, Toronto has responded with two of the most important victories in franchise history to extend their post-season run.
“Someone mentioned that we were in it just to win one game, we’re in it to compete for a championship,” said coach Dwane Casey following Monday night’s 105-99 victory. “Nobody gives us a snowball’s chance in you know where to beat Cleveland.”
Kyle Lowry led the way for the Raps with 35 points, while fellow all-star DeMar DeRozan added 32. Bismack Biyombo continued his impressive play, hauling down a game-high 14 rebounds. On Saturday, he set a franchise record by grabbing 26 rebounds.
Game 5 is Wednesday in Cleveland at 8:30 p.m. ET, before the series returns to Toronto for Game 6 on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET.