Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson said after Friday’s shootaround that team president Larry Bird told him to cut out his antics that have drawn much attention during the playoffs.
Stephenson has made more news for his trash talking and flopping than his actual play.
Bird met with Stephenson and sent him a clear message.
“He said, ‘Don’t do it again,’ so I’m not going to do it again,” Stephenson said. “He’s kept me on the right path my whole career, and if he says something to me, I take it to heart.”
The Pacers are in Miami for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night. Miami leads the best-of-seven series 3-2.
Stephenson is averaging 14.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists in the series but has become better known for talking trash to Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, his two fines for flopping, and blowing in the ear of James during Game 6.
Stephenson even admitted that his tactics have not worked.
“I don’t think I can get into LeBron’s head,” he said. “He’s the best player in the league, he knows how to play through that kind of stuff. I don’t think it bothered him at all. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s going to find a way to play great.”
Stephenson’s teammates want to move on from it.
“It’s time to get back to basketball,” forward Paul George said. “We have to focus.”
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