Lance Stephenson likes to talk.
To reporters. To teammates. To opponents.
So it’s not a surprise the Indiana Pacers guard didn’t back down from his comments about Miami Heat star LeBron James.
But Pacers teammate Paul George said Stephenson was talking trash to the “wrong guy. He’s barking up the wrong tree. LeBron feeds off that kind of energy. … You can’t tell me there’s not one guy who talks trash to LeBron and sees him go for 40 or 50 points. You know he’s more than capable of turning it up.”
On Sunday, Stephenson said the fact that James was talking trash with Stephenson during Game 3 “was a sign of weakness” on James’ part.
“This is the playoffs, so everything is in the spotlight,” Stephenson said. “I’ve got to be careful of what I say. … I just want to have fun and get ready for the game. It’s not about me and him. It’s about our team and winning games.”
James was not available to reporters at Miami’s Monday morning shootaround but spokoe to reporters, as he normally does, about an hour before tip-off. He said he had no reaction for Stephenson’s comments.
In the 2012 conference semifinals between the Heat and Pacers, Stephenson made the choke sign with his hands across his throat after James missed free throws in Indiana’s Game 3 victory. In Game 4, James had 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists in Miami’s victory.
James didn’t say if we would use Stephenson’s comments as motivation.
“I don’t need much (extra) motivation,” He said. “It can help at times for sure when you’re doubted and people write you off or don’t believe in your ability to make things happen. You can use that as motivation if that’s who you are. I’ve done it before. I’ve smiled and laughed at it as well. Depends what kind of mood I’m in.”
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SOURCE: USA Today