LeBron James and Lance Stephenson Rekindle Playoff Rivalry in Cavs-Pacers Game 1 (VIDEOS)
LeBron James and Lance Stephenson have one of the weirder playoff rivalries in NBA history.
It started during LeBron’s four-year run with the Miami Heat, who had to get by some very tough Indiana Pacers teams in 2012, 2013, and 2014. During those series, Lance Stephenson emerged as one of the NBA’s most prolific pests. He did everything he possibly could to get under LeBron’s skin, including, most famously, blowing in LeBron’s ear during the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals.
A lot has changed since the ear-blowin’ heard ’round the world. LeBron went back to Cleveland, and Indiana got rid of Stephenson, Roy Hibbert, and Paul George. However, Stephenson is now back in Indiana after bouncing around the league for three seasons. And with Cleveland and Indiana squaring off in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, a lot of people were wondering if LeBron and Lance would pick up right where they left off.
The answer? Yes. Yes they did.
The Pacers handed the Cavaliers an embarrassing 98-80 home loss to start the playoffs on Sunday afternoon, and LeBron James and Lance Stephenson were going at it the entire game.
Here’s Stephenson throwing down a thunderous dunk early in the game and celebrating by headbutting the stanchion:
“Celtics injured, Toronto can’t beat LeBron. Cavs will walk through the East again…”
Lance Stephenson: “Hold my red pill…” pic.twitter.com/ZJMkqoOHYG
— Steven Barnhart (@HWHoopsCentral) April 15, 2018
And here is LeBron mocking Stephenson with a headbutt of his own after missing a free throw:
— Binyomin Goldgrab (@bgoldgrab) April 15, 2018
Here is LeBron talking trash to Stephenson after beating him underneath the basket:
LeBron talking trash to Lance…trying to get in his head. pic.twitter.com/cJpXemzmJu
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) April 15, 2018
And here is Stephenson tomahawking James in the head later in the game:
Lance Stephenson with the hard foul on LeBron James pic.twitter.com/7PIc3UjADq
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 15, 2018
In the end LeBron had 24 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. But Stephenson had a solid 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.
This series could be pretty damn good.
Hat Tip – [FTW]