Stephenson pokes the bear again

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com


VIDEO: Lance Stephenson and LeBron James ramp up trash talk in Game 3

MIAMI – With some people, a playoff series can’t be just about basketball. Lance Stephenson appears to be one of those people.

After Pacers’ practice on Sunday, Stephenson was asked about going back-and-forth with LeBron James in these Eastern Conference finals. The pair appeared to exchange pleasantries in the first quarter of Game 3 as Indiana was building a 15-point lead.

Stephenson talking to James is nothing new. James talking back is. And Stephenson believes it means that he’s doing something right.

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

James spoke to the media before Stephenson did, so he hasn’t yet had a chance to respond the the “sign of weakness” remark. You can be sure he’ll be asked about it before Game 4 on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

“I’m not much of a talker,” James said earlier Sunday afternoon. “I don’t ever start it but I can get involved in it and still keep my head. Winning the game is more important. I understand what the main goal is.”

Stephenson acknowledged that he can’t get caught up in it either.

“I love it when someone challenges me,” Stephenson said. “It’s really not about me and him, though. It’s about the team. We got to have our player’s step up and have each other’s back. It’s not me against him, if he scores, I’m going to try to score. It’s more of a team.”

Stephenson added that it’s nothing personal.

“This is basketball,” he said. “I don’t really have no beef with him. It’s just basketball. When you’re on the court, there’s no friends. Just basketball. I don’t want to get into the off-the-court stuff. It’s just on the court, basketball toughness, and never bowing down.”

Pacers coach Frank Vogel knows that Lance is going to be Lance and doesn’t believe that poking the bear is going to make the bear any more dangerous than he already is.

“I don’t think it matters one way or the other,” Vogel said of Stephenson’s trash talking. “If he’s silent or if he’s talking, both guys are playing as hard as they can.”

James would prefer to avoid the storyline altogether, referencing a previous narrative with DeShawn Stevenson, whom he faced in the postseason, both with Cleveland (against Washington) and Miami (against Dallas).

“One thing I’m not going to do is give a storyline of LeBron versus Stephenson,” James said. “I’ve already been involved in a LeBron versus Stephenson in my playoff career so I’m not going to do it.”

Some storylines just can’t be avoided, however.

98 Comments

  1. partytime says:

    Can anyone on here spell or put a sentence together?

  2. rico says:

    That idiot Lance will never be an All Star…i think the NBA should give him a psychiatrist all year long..I think he’s a very sick man not to be allowed to play in the NBA. Look how flopped stupidly in game 2?? Who does he think as a player. he has not done anything in his career and now he started this stupid trash talking of King James???WHAT A FOOL…

  3. Chris says:

    If I were lbj, I would say “im weak in trash talk, because I’m more mature and just focus on the coming games!”

  4. Lol says:

    I thought Stevenson said lebron showed weakness , had him right where he wanted. Driving the ball down his entire teams mouths lol

  5. TMac says:

    @ en……..sooooo Heat or Lebron fans need to wait after the series to say Miami is the best….but Pacers fans, Heat haters, and Lebron haters can talk down on the Heat and say Pacers will win??? After game one there were a ton of people saying how the Pacers were going to flatline the Heat on the series…but that was okay???

  6. Mang Kanor says:

    enough of the trash talk lance! do something or your gonna get clothelined again like what happened a couple of years ago!

  7. mee(a)t says:

    I don’t care for the trash talk, but I find it funny when Lance says its a sign of weakness when Lebron “does it back”. Its sad that he couldn’t back it up with bad defense in game three (I will say that he was tired but meh)

  8. GamberT says:

    stupid people will never learn, that’s why they’re stupid LOL. LBJ Rules!!! Go HEAT!!!

  9. Mike says:

    I think @LBJ must be paddle-boating with his parents today. I thought he’d be trolling all over this.

  10. TROYBOY says:

    Love the way Lance handle these situations. People want him to do what we want him to do. Lance…Do what you do. Lebron is the best player in the world. That doesn’t mean everybody that plays him has to follow an SOP. I like players that have the confidence to do what everyone else don’t want to do. Lance has the numbers to back up his trash talking. This wouldn’t even matter to Lebron if Lance didn’t have the numbers. Trash talking is old school. Backing it up on the court made Reggie a Hall Of Famer.

    Let Lance be Lance. Like Jalen Rose said “Lance will make them dance”. Good Luck to both players on the next game.

    • sweet 24 says:

      i agree this is what makes the nba the greatest game in the world.Lance has been doing this all season long now its a problem cause its labron get real just play ball

  11. I8A4RE says:

    Lebron is weak, remember “the streak ” the Bulls ended last season? He lost his cool and tried to bulldoze Carlos boozer off a screen and barely budged him, then little Kirk Hinrich tied him up under the basket and he cried in the locker room about them being to physical. He’s still spooked in the final minutes of a game. Not clutch at all! He’s lucky they have Ray Allen.

  12. Lebron VS Lance says:

    In the 2nd quarter when Lebron and Lance were going back and forth, Lance dribbles the ball near the sideline past half quart, jawing and grilling lebron, then Lebron bats the ball off lance’s leg out of bounds. EPIC

  13. ty says:

    I am not a Pacers fan, however I like the competitive attitude of Lance. What’s wrong with what he said? I am going for the Heat, I like LeBron, but I really want to see a more aggressive game. Lance is going to have a bad game 4, he is going to choke on his words. I like Bosh, I hope he will have a great game tonight,

    • James says:

      It’s like you called everything Man…. Good Job!

      Bosh had a great game and Lance looked silly tonight. :)

  14. DolphinWhisperer says:

    That is so funny. Lance attempts to measure-up to LeBron….. C’mon dude, get real. Or are you trying to get on top of the Twitter-list?

  15. Ben says:

    Love lance, he has the guts to get on some superstars like Lebrun n wade, he will become an allstar

  16. PB1 says:

    Funny. Funny and still Funny. Guys trash talk each other in every sport and it is NOT a big issue let alone written about,… yet Stephenson TTs James and it is a big issue. I think the funnier and most obvious thing is that James is guarding Stephenson and Wade no longer is. Perhaps even with the numbers he’s putting up, Wade has a sorer knee now than in the beginning of the series??? His little bump to the back of PGs head didn’t help none either. Food for thought. Hehehe

  17. Jill says:

    Lebron was called WEAK by the midget Lance. I am sure Lebron will shut him up tonight. He will show him what respect means. Trash talking is a sign of weakness moron.

  18. R ONeal says:

    I love the Kings game…The Heat has proven to be a good sound team.
    But hold it right there. Lance is no pretender. That boy can ball
    Also if you stop and really look at the Pacers squad he may be
    The best they have.
    No. . He shouldn’t talk, so much but he’s a bad man. So is you’re a
    Heat fan.
    Try not to get him hyped. This kid is just looking for an opening
    He is an AllStar.

  19. PP baller says:

    Ok Lance, what are you doing?! Your really not that good, who do you see talking about Lance on the streets like “wow he’s good” or “I want to be like Lance” I’ll be honest your a good player, but your attitude just screws things up, do you think your Jesus? MJ? or even LeBron? Well guess what buddy? Your not….Not even close…Your averages aren’t even all that 13 PPG 4 APG (oh and your a point guard?!?!) 0 STP, 0 BPG…And then you act like your a Hall of Famer.. YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN AN ALL-STAR, NEVER WON AN MVP (and will never), AND NEVER WON A TITLE….so shut up and get humble, cause Norris Cole is better than you..Once you have accomplished what LeBron has you can start talking, but you haven’t even accomplished 1/20 of what he has… You can see from the comments above people talk about how the greatest ever were trash talkers (MJ, Bird, Reggie,) Well guess what? Your not! So think about what your doing Lance… And learn how to talk cause I really don’t understand what you say….Do you have a 5 year old education… We can tell cause your not smart, not even basketball smart…. You’ll have time to think about it when you start riding the bench in the years to come.

  20. ruben says:

    lebron is a great person in another hand as player are a lot of player between lebron and lance how i see lebron is number one and lance does’t have number so lebron focus have to be the game not the circus

  21. Xnyer says:

    LaBaby trash talks in different ways the hitting of his chest when he thinks he id something great, the hand slapping on the court, standing over someone after he CHARGES into them……If someone can trash talk to LaBaby the better, it will get him off his game and try to go one on one………..

    • TMac says:

      Lol….you must not have seen what happens when somebody trash talks Lebron? Does it look like Lebron is bothered by the trash talk? It does the opposite my friend….it fuels his determination.

    • TMac says:

      Oh and don’t act like Lebron is the only player that goes around and gets hype after making a good play. It ‘s the same as football players doing celebration dances after making a touchdown.Would you like for me to name a few players that I have seen do something like hit there chest after a good play?

  22. Fred says:

    Lance isn’t trash talking to get a Lebron. He trash talks to pump himself up. Lebron is going to do everything to win no matter what Lance says so what the big deal. He is just getting himself up for the game. He’s a basketball player not a school teacher and he hasn’t said anything out of line. Get over it and FYI im not a Heat or Pacers fan or hater

  23. Antawn says:

    Lance is almost a feel-good story for the NBA, from being a bench warmer to someone who contributes and plays well for his team, his attitude however is less to be desired.

  24. Chandra Mcdaniel says:

    To all Non-Heaters, You get the Palm to the Face, and Slam Dunked, because this year and next we will have 5 Rings Baby!!!. Now have a seat, in the stands. BOOM!!

  25. Miami Heat Fan says:

    Lance Stupidson it is! Before DWade about his knee and look DWade did, and now Lebron for being weak…I dont think he can stop Lebron tonight’s game.

  26. Stephenson Fan, NOT! says:

    Let him dance all he want with his ball hogging, and ran out of gas at end of the game, just like in two previous games

  27. Drago says:

    Stephenson is a disgrace to basketball and a bad role model for the kids.

  28. Tat says:

    Me in 2018, “Stephenson ……………who?”
    Dont be surprised when he enters the same team as James in the future with his tail between his legs.
    Like Matt Barnes with Kobe……

  29. ARis Lanon says:

    Poor Stephenson.. Pacers going nowhere but 2nd. in East.

  30. JQ says:

    Lance Stephenson is an idiot.
    First he thinks he should be an All-Star (DEFINITELY NOT!)
    Now he wants to go and piss James off hahahahaha.
    Lebron to score 50 the next game!

  31. Skam says:

    Hahaha….

    Lance; “Yeah I do trash talk”
    Lance: “Trash talking is a sign of weakness”

    #Dead!!!

  32. eaham says:

    Man Lebrun is a punk. All that garbage about I focus on games and don’t trash talk bs. Coming from a guy who stared down a Michael Jordan who is over 50 while he was dunking all over the bobcats.levron is a punk man and I’m glad lance is going at him. Earn those rings Lebrun. You don’t trash talk cuz U cent always back it up. You ain’t no mj miller lar bird or Payton buddy. You just a little boy from Akron

  33. Stephenson Fan says:

    GRATZ LANCE! Now you have tons of people hating you and rooting for MIAMI HEAT because of your talking

  34. superglord says:

    hoping for a empahtic dunk for lbj on lance like he did on j.terry on trash talking… what a scene…..

  35. dunjav2013 says:

    Reblogged this on dunjav.

  36. nba fan says:

    one thing i like with lebron, is his attitude. he will make it sure to win the game by play not by trash talking, and guy is cool he can always watch his temper, although sad to say I am not lbj fans cause I am spurs fan.

  37. Ace says:

    Trash talk all you want off court but on game day especially during the playoffs focus on the game.

  38. FunkyPiston says:

    When are idiots like Lance going to understand that you keep your mouth shut and let your game do the talking. Take Kwahi Leonard for example, he goes against Durant and puts an imprint on the series with his hard play and staying humble. Grow up Lance and help your team.

    • Another Heat Fan says:

      I agree it’s better to be humble, but some people get an added boost out of trashtalking and playing like that.

      Some of the greatest nba players were the best trash talkers ever.
      Reggie Miller is one name. Michael Jordan is another. Those 2 are nba legends and they were HUGE trashtalkers.

  39. Carlo says:

    Trash talk and all that chest thumping and defiant looks to the public are just childlish behaviour.
    Did any of these overpaid children realize they are PAID millions to PLAY a game, not saving the planet or feeding the hungries?
    I’d like to see LBJ&co. going away after a bucket without acting as if they just elaborated a new theory of universe or discovered the cure for cancer.

    • jimi says:

      So you are implying that they do not donate money and time to charities? Actually the do

  40. matricsneo says:

    Yeah trash talking back might be a sign of weakness for some players but if it is coming from the mouth of a certified super star, much more a G.O.A.T??.. That should put a shiver on your knees… Remember, Bird, Magic, Jordan, Kobe, Muhammad Ali were all doing it before….. If they start doing it, that usually means the beginning to your end… Tread carefully Lance coz u might have just been digging your own grave in getting LBJ to talk back… ;)

  41. travis says:

    He’s no Reggie Miller but his trash talk is

  42. Baskethead says:

    ” It’s not me against him”

    Well that’s lucky because you would be spanked like a little kid. Moron.

  43. kobeballhog says:

    Stephenson born flopper lmao. Thats what he is good at. How many times he flew away at the slightest contact during game 3? Born bonehead i say. What credentials does this flopper have? 0 all stars 0 mvp 0 championship 0 all nba lmao yet he talks like he is a future hall of famer.

    • SEE_RED_PH says:

      Well said kobeballhog. Lance Stephenson’s such a jerk. He’s so overconfident and his attitude surely affecting his team (vs Evan Turner before the playoffs — for instance). Really hate that guy, he even reflexes his muscles whenever he gets an amazing play. Better be humble and take on winning games all the way to the Finals (first) instead of making some stupidity out of pride (yet STEPHENSON haven’t proved anything yet). Or why not behave like Paul George? PG’s an All-Star, yet he remains PG several years ago. PG even respects Lebron for his talent, he even admitted he wants Lebron to be his mentor someday. I’m not a fan of either team but I am rooting for MIA in this series because of Lance’s antics. But next year, hopefully CHI sees RED. HUMBLE THYSELF.

  44. DUMB says:

    Keep ‘em coming PACERS!!!

    The last time he said something about Wade’s knees, Wade exploded the next two games LOL

  45. Darwin says:

    Lance do trash talk because he knew that’s the only way he can be better than lebron. Cole is way far better than you lance so shut up. All your shots are hail mary and dont have a trace of a professional basketball player. go climb at the top of nearest mountain from you then shout as much as you can because we all know you are at your best doing that.

  46. Chris says:

    Shut up and win, Lance. Im tired of you running your mouth like youve won a title already.

  47. Salsa lover says:

    So let me see if I’ve got this right. Lance says trash-talking is a “sign of weakness” and then in the next sentence admits that he says “I used to trash talk Lebron” or in other words “I was the mentally weak one”. Now, in his twisted logic, Lebron is trash talking back to him, so Lebron’s come down to his weak level. Did I get that right, Lance? Great logic by a great mind…NOT.

  48. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    Lance Stephenson is not getting under LeBron’s skin… But if Lance is trying to challenge the King, then that’s not a good idea … Look how it turned out for the Pacers the last 2 seasons….. enough said.

    #3PEAT

  49. Mark says:

    Lebron talking back a sign of weakness?

    Maybe it’s a lot simpler than that, maybe at this point he’s starting to get annoyed and can no longer take it.

    Lance should just play the game and stop trying to intimidate opponents.

  50. Bogebo says:

    I love Pacer’s team but Lance is a big “cry baby”. He is looking for recognition. Somebody should tell him to shut up and calm down. He is doing too much. He cannot compare himself to Lebron James. King James has been an All star since he was 19. Lance needs to respect talent and stop making noise.

  51. Titus says:

    Lance says Its a sign of weakness on Lebrons part but I think its a sign of weakness on his part, simply because he trying to evoke a response from Lebron who doesnt do much trash talking, instead of outplaying him on the badketball court. Something he knows he cant do!!…like Lebron said it something he rarely does however he wins MVPs and wins Championships, something Born Ready has yet to do.

  52. ko0kiE says:

    he’s acting like he’s the star player not only of his team but also in the league although he’s maybe their 4th or 5th best player behind geoge, hibbert, west…

  53. Stoopid says:

    Still waiting for stupid lbj comments hahahahaha

  54. en. says:

    Lebruum riders shut da hell up just be grown men bout this and wait to talk till the last game………fyp

    • TMac says:

      So after the series if Miami wins will you still be mad, bro??

      • en. says:

        Just wait till the last game is played to see who gets crowned …. then u can ask…. not mad just annoyed by all the arrogant fans like their daddy lebrun

  55. en. says:

    F…lebton

  56. holyspectator says:

    lol, stephenson needa chill, lebron can do whatever he wants cuz he can back up his talk..lance..well he cant

  57. cheflola says:

    @ Bahn

    Lebron James is only 29 years old…Lance is 23….kind of weird to consider Lebron as Old…or as Lance’s Daddy….
    Lance is an idiot……a very anxious player. And he can’t talk either.

  58. Heat says:

    Lance talking so much. I guess it’s good. It gives more motivation for the heat to win this series and i don’t think they gonna win if he’s gonna keep talking. More Hardwork Less Talk is key to win!

  59. All I can say is He Talks Way To Much For a 40th Pick..

  60. leborn jaems says:

    say what you want.. all im sayin is stephenson thinks he’s an all star but in reality he’s hurting the pacers on both sides of the floor.. if vogel go with watson and hill then maybe theres a chance for them to get a decent loss margin (5 points)..

  61. bart smith says:

    Just cut off the torn overs, shut up and play

  62. heat fan says:

    Stephenson is the biggest idiot in the nba. About the team? Are you kidding me? He’s one of the biggest ball hogs ever, and he thinks he’s 10x better than he really is. Can’t he just focus on playing basketball and stop messing with lebron? Can’t he just play the game instead of trying to be a one-man team and trying to do everything? Seriously, “I’m getting under his skin”? I think it’s a sign of weakness? He’s saying LEBRON is weak? Well, if he’s saying that, then he’s the weak one because he thinks he needs to trash talk EVERY SINGLE OPPONENT he faces, and can’t take a loss.

  63. Mauricio says:

    Stephenson is a good player but you can’t just talk about others players like that, lebron doesnt need to prove anything to anyone or extra motivation to play harder, this team knows what they have to do to win… The pacers dont have clue, he better start talking where to go next season coz this indiana pacers team will be different. And keep talking about wade knees…. He is so used to people count him out and he still proving to be elite all start player and one of the smartest players on the floor every night. He knows what to do and when. Third best sg in nba history.

  64. kingkong says:

    Such and Immature baby lance is, just late your game dictate everything instead of whining like a baby not getting his candy back. It’s like you making excuses for everything bad play you commited. Paul George is much better defender than you are, no wonder LeBron acknowledges Paul George rather than you. hahahaha! acting tough is different than being tough. Just don’t be so over confident boy, you got some long way to go.

  65. KingLBjBoy says:

    Lance WHO??? Not even an ALL STAR

    P.George even respect James then Lance Who???Coming …. ur Kidding ryt?

  66. Saeed says:

    Poor John, I really couldn’t believe that a high-ranking NBA writer can be so cheap and biased as you are before this week. Your face is extremely interesting if Miami wins it all this year.

  67. Mike says:

    Stephenson doesn’t understand the whole concept of trash talking…he basically explained his modus operandi, which makes his target immune to it. He should have just kept making oblique remarks insulting Lebron and working on him. Instead he looks like the dummy he surely is. Somebody call Charles Oakley and straighten this kid out.

  68. Terry says:

    Can’t understand why people hate Leborn. He is a good family man, is a great player and the most pumped I have ever seen him was when Ray Allen scored a 3. As far as Stephenson goes stop flopping stop talking and learn how to be great right now your #4 on your own team.
    Heat in 5 thanks to Stephenson big mouth

  69. Young says:

    Grow up, Lance. Don’t act like kid.

    You do play well sometime. Yeah, sometime I mean.

  70. Bahn says:

    LeBron

  71. DP7 says:

    Paul Pierce said he can shut down Lebron, Lebron score 49 next game. I don’t think Lance did his homework on what happens when you talk trash to Lebron.

  72. koppie says:

    Lance Stephenson simply does not know how to speak with logic and structure. Just listen to his interviews and everyone will know it

  73. Bahn says:

    He’s just a young kid (Stephenson) playing with his daddy(Labron).

  74. FoxToddley says:

    Lance Stephenson should shut up and let his work on the court do the talking.

  75. lol says:

    and after a horrible start, lebron got mad and played the best defense i’ve seen him play this year and had himself a superb game. meanwhile, lance stopped running back on defense and started missing layups.

  76. leborn jaems says:

    stephenson tried to play 45 minutes but he’s too exhausted in the 35 minute mark… he’s not athletically gifted like me..

  77. jave says:

    Stephenson is an idiot…

    “If he scores on me, I’ll try to score on him. It’s more about the team. ”

    So if lebron scores on me… ima try to play hero ball and be a total ball hog and deny my teammates the ball so I can look good, but it’s still about the team.

    Nice logic by one of the biggest idiots in the NBA.

    Did anyone see him trying to break Lebrons ankles in Game 3? LMFAO he tried like 5 ankle breakers in one play and LeBron stuck to him like glue. LeBron then proceeded to shut him down for the rest of the game.

    *choke sign to Stephenson*

  78. Josh B says:

    Well’ lets hope it actually works and LeBron is limited to like 15 points on 40 percent shooting. Hey, let me hope.

  79. Zero says:

    lance was talking too much. i think he should stop talking trash and just focus on playing..