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How Dumb Was It For Lance Stephenson To Talk Trash To LeBron James Before Game 4 Of The Eastern Conference Finals?

Submitted by on May 27, 2014 – 10:31 amNo Comment
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On Sunday afternoon, Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson decided that he wanted to try and get inside of Miam Heat forward LeBron James‘ head. So he spoke with reporters and was very vocal about how he believes that the trash talk that James does during games now is “a sign of weakness.” He basically took a big stick and poked an angry dog with it, hoping to throw James off his game and sidetrack him in the hours leading up to the Heat’s playoff game against the Pacers.

“To me, I think it’s a sign of weakness,” Stephenson said, “because he never used to say nothing. I used to always be the one who would say, ‘I’m going to do something to get you mad.’ I feel like it’s a weakness. I feel like I’m doing something right and getting under his skin.”

When asked about Stephenson’s comments prior to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals last night, James refused to comment. He did admit that he talks more trash now than he used to. But he didn’t take the bait from Stephenson and get into a war of words with him. He did, however, take to the court last night with a little bit of extra pep in his step. And as a result, James scored 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out five assists, and tallied two steals during Miami’s commanding 102-90 victory over the Pacers. And with that, the Heat now own a 3-1 series lead and are on the brink of eliminating Indiana from the postseason.

And unfortunately, Stephenson deserves some of the blame for that. While we don’t necessarily hate the idea of him trying to get into James’ head, we don’t like the idea of him doing it so publicly through the media. Additionally, we don’t like how he essentially created a distraction for the Pacers and then failed to follow up his words by putting together a strong performance out on the court. Because while James was having his solid night, Stephenson scored just 9 points on 3-for-7 shooting and didn’t have much of an impact on the game. So his plan backfired and likely cost his team the contest.

In the future, players like Stephenson need to think twice before poking a superstar like James. It’s OK for someone like Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant to do it to a fellow superstar. Those guys can back up their words. But Stephenson created an unnecessary distraction for his team and, whether he’ll admit it to not, provided extra motivation for James. And because of it, the Pacers’ season is probably going to end within the next few days.

So maybe next time, Stephenson will just shut up.

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