Here are some things you should never attempt:
- Kick a hornet's nest
- Taunt a rabid dog
- Moon a cop while driving 98 mph
- Punch a shark
- Lather yourself in honey and then scream at a bear
- Flick a rattlesnake in the face
- Call a very large man a bad name
- Say dumb things about LeBron James when he's in the middle of obliterating your playoff hopes and dreams.
The Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson has managed to stay away from doing all those things except the last one. Lance Stephenson is not a very bright person.
A day after LeBron crushed the Pacers in Game 3 to the tune of 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting, and drop-kicked Indiana's offense square in the larynx with his stifling defense, Stephenson decided to tell the media that he's found LeBron's supposed "weakness."
After the Pacers fell to the Heat 99-87 in Game 3, going down 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, Stephenson apparently decided that now was the time to try and rile things up with LeBron James.
LeBron seemed to jaw at Stephenson throughout Saturday night's game, which is something he usually doesn't do. This, according to Stephenson, is a clear sign that James is cracking at the seams.
It all began when Stephenson managed to draw an offensive foul on LeBron. We use "managed" loosely because Lance clearly flopped.
Because what happened next is pretty epic.
LeBron stuck around, stood over Lance as his Pacer teammates picked him up, and shadowed him down the court talking some serious trash. He kept talking trash all night after that.
This, Lance, perceived as "weakness."
"To me, I think it's a sign of weakness because he never used to say nothing to me," Stephenson said during his media rounds on Sunday afternoon. "I always used to be the one who used to be the one that say, `I'm going to get under you. I'm going to do something to get you mad' Now he's trying to do it to me. I feel like it's a weakness."'
If "weakness" can be defined as "completely clubbing your ass with some insanely shutdown defense."
Here's what transpired after that play, and how LeBron displayed all that "weakness:"
- The Pacers, who at one point had led by 14, crumbled under the weight of James and Miami's defense. After the LeBron offensive foul, Indiana turned the ball over eight times and managed to score only seven times to end the first half.
- Stephenson and the Pacers offense were reduced to a putrid 30 percent shooting.
- Lance and his good-time buddies were so rattled, they went a combined 1-for-12 on uncontested jumpers. That means the Heat's defense was so stifling, they screwed up Indiana's offense by doing nothing at all at times.
- Stephenson missed all four of his three-point shot attempts.
- Stephenson went 3-for-9 from the field in the entire game.
LeBron, meanwhile, who at times in this series has seemed disengaged and frustrated, woke up with a roar and led Miami to one of their most efficient games in their history of playing the Pacers.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto famously said of the United States, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
Lance Stephenson can tell himself he's found LeBron's weakness all he wants. But deep down he has to know that all he did was awaken the sleeping giant.
And now the sleeping giant is going to crush him and his team with his giant dong.
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.
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