Vogel tries to end drummed-up controversy with LeBron

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We need a game in this series so we can talk about basketball and not this ridiculous game of telephone.

As we explained before, LeBron James took umbrage at something a reporter told him Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel said — except Vogel never said it. What Vogel said was, “They’re the next team that’s in our way and that’s how we’re approaching it.” Somehow that got translated by a reporter speaking to LeBron as, “Vogel was saying last night that you guys are just another team.’’ So LeBron said he would be ready to show him they are not just another team.

And this was all over sports talk radio, major sports news broadcasts and just about everywhere else Monday. Because…. I have no idea why. But it would not die.

So Monday Vogel was asked to respond to LeBron’s response to the thing he never said. And Vogel’s response was to say he never said it, reports the Pacers official Web site.

“Sorry sports world, the words ‘just another team’ never came out of my mouth,” he said. “Great respect for LBJ and the champs. Looking forward to [a] great series.”

It should be a fun series. The Pacers had a 2-1 lead on the Heat last season and they are certainly playing more cohesively this year (and likely will deal better with defenders fronting the post). That said, Miami has Chris Bosh healthy this time around and that will make things a lot harder on Roy Hibbert, who would prefer not to have to cover his man at the arc.

Can’t wait to see how it all plays out. Really sick of the long break before the start of the series, where non-issues like this become issues.