Pacers’ Larry Bird irked by Lance Stephenson’s antics


Indiana Pacers’ Lance Stephenson has been raising eyebrows during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. In the fourth quarter of Game 5, Stephenson was caught on camera blowing in LeBron James’ ear.

It resulted in some hilarious memes springing up on the internet, but it has earned the backlash of a lot of fans and those within his organization, including Pacers president Larry Bird.

From USA Today‘s Jeff Zillgitt:

"Asked via text message if he were bothered by Stephenson blowing in James’ ear, Pacers president Larry Bird replied, “Yes I am.”"

Stephenson also tried to work his way into a huddle between Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Norris Cole. It is worth mentioning that it is something we’ve seen other NBA players do, most recently Marcin Gortat of the Washington Wizards.

“People are in my huddle all the time,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Thursday, via Yahoo Sports. “Every player in the NBA does that. That’s nothing. Blowing in his face probably crosses the line. That’s not really who we are. We want to be a competitive team, but we don’t want to cross the line.”

Stephenson had little to say about the on-court antics, that rival J.R. Smith untying his opponent’s shoe laces.

“Just comes out of the blue. Just playing ball, having fun,” Stephenson said. “I’m just trying to win the game. That’s about it.”

Unfortunately, he might just be enraging LeBron and motivating him to come out with a dominant performance, even if he won’t admit it.

“I’m just here to play basketball, man,” James said. “All the extracurricular activities, I don’t really get into. I’m just trying to win. We need one more game to get The Finals. That’s my only concern. We put ourselves in a position to win tonight, and as competitors, as professionals, that’s what we are.”