Even Larry Bird Has a Problem With Lance Stephenson Blowing in LeBron James Ear
It's not just the Heat who had a problem with Lance Stephenson "unprofessional" antics in Game 5 Wednesday night.
In fact, even members of the Indiana Pacers have made their displeasure public.
Famed trash talker and Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird had a problem with Stephenson's 'defensive tactics' against Miami Heat superstar LeBron James which included blowing in his left ear before a play.
In a text message to USA TODAY Sports, Bird was asked by Jeff Zillgitt if he was bothered by the antics.
"Yes, I am," Bird simply replied.
Bird was a notorious trash talker in his Celtics days, just ask Gary Payton to rank the all-time greats like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Payton even called Bird a "real mean guy."
Stephenson's "buffoonery" (labeled that by Ray Allen) didnt just begin in Game 5. He heated things up before Game 1 of the series by calling out Dwyane Wade's ailing knees. Stephenson also called out James before Game 4 by saying that the 4x MVP was showing a sign of "weakness" by engaging in trash talk with the Pacers shooting guard.
Whether Stephenson got in the head of James last night is a point that can be made. James was in foul trouble all night and played just 24 minutes, scoring just 7 points.
"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," James told reporters after the game.
James made sure to put an emphasis on the word professional. Ray Allen used the same word in his post game remarks on Stephenson, as well.
Stephenson is still a young player in this league, but that talking and tomfoolery can only make you look foolish in the end. Reportedly, Roy Hibbert was talking about only Stephenson when he called out his locker room for having "some selfish dudes" in it.
Game 6 is Friday night in Miami and the Heat will only have one thing on their minds: a fourth straight Eastern Conference Title. If Stephenson and the Pacers do lose on Friday night, he will certainly need to take some blame.