Lance Stephenson tried getting into LeBron James’ head.
Shockingly, It didn’t work.
Not only did LeBron dominate the Heat’s Game 4 win, Stephenson didn’t score until late third quarter and didn’t make a shot until late fourth quarter.
Afterward, both players were asked about Stephenson’s pre-game trash-talk comments.
I don’t need any motivation. I’m motivated enough to try to get back to the Finals. That’s motivating enough. Being one of the leaders of this team, I have to do my job. I have to do my part to help us win. And That’s what it’s all about.
Do I find him comical? Uh, I got a smirk out of it.
Stephenson, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
“I have no regrets,” Stephenson said. “I tried to play ball, I tried to get inside his head and I guess he stepped up and got the win. I can take the heat, I can take the fire.”
It’s impossible to know just how much Stephenson affected LeBron. Of course, LeBron wants to minimize the perceived impact an opponent can have on him. But it wouldn’t be surprising at all if LeBron used Stephenson’s comments to summon extra energy and focus.
And good for Stephenson for owning his words. This should be a learning experience for him, but he can’t reverse it. There’s no point pretending it didn’t happen.
Just don’t do it again.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.