Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr proved Thursday that honesty is not necessarily the best policy -- at least when it comes to sports.
A few hours after telling reporters he wouldn't change his lineup in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, he inserted Andre Iguodala into Golden State's starting five for the first time in 101 games this season. Two hours and 37 minutes later, the Warriors walked off with a 103-82 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, evening the series 2-2.
Iguodala recorded 22 points and eight rebounds, and the Warriors outscored the Cavs by 16 while he was on the court.
Kerr's act of deception put his team in a favorable position, with Cavs counterpart David Blatt unable to consider possible pregame adjustments.
"I lied," Kerr said after the game. "I don't think they hand you the trophy based on morality. They give it to you if you win. Sorry about that."
With that in mind -- and with apologies to Lance Armstrong, Danny Almonte, Rosie Ruiz and Manti Teo's girlfriend -- ESPN.com recalls notably successful instances of the power of lying:
• Prior to the 1996 NBA draft, agent Arn Tellem told New Jersey Nets management that client Kobe Bryant would play professionally in Italy if the team selected the high school superstar with the eighth overall pick. The Nets decided not to call Bryant's bluff, instead drafting Villanova guard Kerry Kittles. Bryant went on to win five NBA championships with the Lakers, who traded for his rights after Charlotte picked him No. 13 overall. Was it a lie? You make the call. "Had the Nets drafted me, I would've played there and wouldn't have tried to force a trade," Bryant told the New York Post in 2012. "I was 17, bro; I just wanted to ball."
• In December 2006, Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban responded to media speculation that tied him to the job opening at the University of Alabama. "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach," Saban said flatly. A couple of weeks later, Saban accepted the Crimson Tide job and a salary that ranked as the highest in college sports. In eight seasons at Tuscaloosa, Saban is 91-17 and has won three national titles.
• In 2004, the Cavs decided not to pick up a $700,000 option year on Carlos Boozer's contract in exchange for a handshake agreement with the player to sign a $41 million, six-year contract. Instead, Boozer wound up signing a $68 million, six-year pact with the Utah Jazz.
• Thousands upon thousands of athletes around the world have wrongly denied using performance-enhancing drugs. In the interest of keeping this article under 100,000 words, we'll leave it at that.
• Manny Pacquiao arguably lied by omission last month when he didn't meet the requirement to disclose a shoulder injury before his championship bout against Floyd Mayweather. Fight promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao suffered the injury while training in the weeks leading up to the fight. It was later revealed Pacquiao had a severely torn rotator cuff. Mayweather stopped short of calling Pacquiao a liar, but he did accuse his vanquished opponent of making excuses. Pacquiao lost a unanimous decision to the undefeated Mayweather but earned an estimated $125 million for going through with the fight.
• Half-truths and falsehoods regularly occur when NFL and NHL teams are asked to disclose injury information -- especially in the postseason. Notably, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been accused of not being forthright in reporting injuries. Aqib Talib and Brandon Spikes questioned the team's procedures in this regard after leaving the team. In 2014, the NFL cleared New England of any wrongdoing after investigating the issue.
• Upon buying the New York Yankees for $10 million from CBS on Jan. 3, 1973, owner George Steinbrenner pledged to keep his hands off the team's baseball operations. "We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned," Steinbrenner told reporters. "We're not going to pretend we're something we aren't. I'll stick to building ships." Steinbrenner went on to become one of the most heavy-handed owners in sports history, and the franchise won seven World Series titles under his stewardship.
Did we overlook your favorite instance of lying gone right in sports? Post it to the comments section.