Pacers-Heat Sidelights: LeBron James vs. Stephenson Trash Talk

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By James Patrick Quizon | May 26, 2014 2:49 PM EST

Outspoken Pacer Lance Stephenson has continued his trash-talking against the Miami Heat’s stars. Before the series began it was against Dwyane Wade and after Game 3 the not-so-nice words are now for LeBron James.

Reuters
May 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) leans in to Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the second half of game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 87 to 83.

"To me, it's a sign of weakness," Stephenson said in an ESPN article. "[People] used to say that to me. I'm going to do something to get you mad. Now he's trying to do it to me. I feel like there's a weakness and I feel like I'm doing something right to get underneath his skin."

"One thing I'm not going to do is give a story line of LeBron versus Stephenson, I'm not going to do that. I've already been involved in a LeBron versus Stevenson in my playoff career so I'm not going to do it," James said in the same article referring to his past skirmish with DeShawn Stevenson then with the Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks.

Unfortunately for LeBron, the sports world has already taken notice he indulged Stephenson to a lot of verbal sparring in Game 3.

There are two schools of thought here; either Stephenson is a master trash-talker and get into the James’ head or his teasing backfires and James explodes in the next few games.

It did not work against Wade, who appears rejuvenated in this series. The 32-year-old averages 24.3 points per game in the series on an efficient 62.0 per cent from the field!

"I think his knee is messed up, so I've got to be extra aggressive," Stephenson said before the East Finals began. "Make his knee flare up or something."

How will LeBron respond after the latest Stephenson rant?

Game 4 of the Pacers-Heat is on Monday with Indiana looking to tie the best-of-seven series.

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(Photo: Reuters / Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports)
May 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) leans in to Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the second half of game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 87 to 83.
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