Lance Stephenson is somewhat of a character. Now in saying that I'll also go ahead and admit as much that I do think he is a very good basketball player with a lot of upside. I am also in the same opinion that Mr. Stephenson has quite a bit of maturing to do both on and off the court.
There was a sequence during Game 3, in which Stephenson drew a offensive foul on LeBron James. From that moment it seem that James started a little bit of a trash talking banter session with Stephenson as well as over aggressively defending him for much of the game. During Sunday afternoon's media session, Lance addressed all of that and stated that LeBron's trash talking towards him was a "sign of weakness".
From the Sun-Sentinel:
"To me, I think it's a sign of weakness because he never used to say nothing to me," Stephenson said. "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."'
Stephenson and James exchanged words early in the first quarter. With the Pacers leading 23-14, Stephenson drew a charge on James. After teammates helped Stephenson up, James closely followed him down the court. The players jawed the entire way.
"I'm doing something right and I'm getting under his skin," Stephenson said. "I definitely have to keep stepping up to the plate and be aggressive when he does that."
While I do respect Lance's candidness when speaking about the 4-time MVP, it's also worth noting that right after this sequence is when the Miami Heat came out of their early shooting slump and in essence LeBron James became more engaged throughout the game.
Though it remains to be seen if this will carry over into Game 4 when these teams meet again Monday night, but whatever the case may be, I don't necessarily think it's also a wise choice for Lance Stephenson to "poke the bear" if you will, especially with your team already trailing 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals and Miami in position at home to take a commanding 3-1 lead with another win.
But go ahead Lance. Create more bulletin board material.