5 times sports took a strange turn in 2018

Sports may give people an opportunity to witness incredible athletic feats, but it's the truly bizarre moments that really capture people's attention.

Some moments are so jarring that the final result of the game itself is lost in the moment, while others go beyond the field of play altogether. 

Here's a look back at five of the most stunning sports moments of 2018:

Why didn't J.R. shoot?

The Golden State Warriors were heavy favourites to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals, but Game 1 was surprisingly competitive as the Cavaliers hung tight with the Warriors behind a 51-point performance from LeBron James.

With the game tied 107-107 with 4.7 seconds to go, Cleveland guard J.R. Smith grabbed a key offensive rebound a few feet from the basket. To everyone's astonishment, Smith did not attempt a game-winning shot, choosing instead to dribble out the clock.


The Warriors prevailed 124-114 in overtime; after the game, there were conflicting reports as to whether or not Smith knew the score. Golden State went on to win the next three games to sweep Cleveland 4-0.  

Serena vs. the umpire

Serena Williams walked into Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sept. 8 seeking her first Grand Slam title in two years, but things didn't go according to plan.

The U.S. Open champion was cited for three code violations by umpire Carlos Ramos during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka.

Her third violation resulted in a game penalty after she called Ramos a thief during a changeover.

Watch the controversial decision from the chair empire: 

Williams was given a 3rd code violation in the 2nd set of the U.S. Open Final, resulting in the loss of a game. Naomi Osaka would go on to with the match in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. 3:47

After the match, Williams accused the umpire of sexism.

"I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say 'thief,' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark," Williams said at her news conference.

Many thought the umpire was unduly harsh to Williams throughout the match, while the International Tennis Federation said Ramos's decisions "were in accordance with the relevant rules." 

Senators' Uber controversy

On Nov. 4, the Ottawa Senators lost for the sixth time in their last seven games — but things were about to get much worse for the team.

The following day, the Ottawa Citizen released video footage of several Senators players during an Oct. 29 Uber ride in Phoenix. The video, which had been recorded surreptitiously, showed the players discussing their team's floundering penalty kill and criticizing assistant coach Martin Raymond.

With 'Ubergate' quickly dominating headlines, the players and the Uber driver both apologized for their actions.   

Who made the worse move: Sens players or Uber driver?

A group of Ottawa Senators players got caught red-handed talking about their coach… but only because an Uber driver released his dashboard footage. Who messed up more? 1:17

Curlers booted for being 'extremely drunk'

A curling team comprised of Jamie Koe, Chris Schille, DJ Kidby and fill-in player Ryan Fry was kicked out of the 2018 Red Deer Curling Classic on Nov. 18 after numerous complaints were levelled against them from opponents and spectators. 

"They went out to curl and they were extremely drunk and breaking brooms and swearing," facility manager Wade Thurber told CBC Sports in November.

A few days after the event, Fry — who won gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics — announced that he'd be taking an indefinite leave from his usual team led by Brad Jacobs to focus on his "growth and self-improvement." However, Jacobs hopes to have him back by the next Grand Slam in January.

A (post-fight) fight at UFC 229

Khabib Nurmagomedov​ forced Conor McGregor to tap out in the fourth round of their lightweight title bout at UFC 229in early October.

Then the fight really got started.  

A few seconds after defeating the Irish MMA superstar, Nurmagomedov climbed over the cage and leaped at men in McGregor's corner.


Meanwhile, two men climbed into the cage and attacked McGregor.

In a post-fight news conference, the Russian blamed McGregor for instigating the brawl, saying the Dublin native had mocked his religion and country in pre-fight taunts.

Both fighters were suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission for the post-match fracas.

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