Larry Bird told Lance Stephenson to cut it out with the antics


Larry Bird talked his share of trash during his NBA years… and he took up Danny Ainge’s share, Dennis Johnson’s share and probably a few other guys as well. He talked a lot.

But he didn’t like Lance Stephenson’s antics in Game 5 — blowing in LeBron James’ ear, walking into a Heat huddle and flopping.

Stephenson said Bird came down and told him to cut it out, reports the Associated Press.

“He said, `Don’t do it again,”‘ Stephenson said Friday, recalling his talk with Bird. “So I’m not going to do it again.”

Stephenson’s antics have drawn as much attention as his play this series — he has averaged 14.6 points per game on 50 percent shooting (but just 21.6 percent from three), plus 6.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He has at times been the Pacers best, most aggressive player.

But they are going to need more out of him in Miami Friday night in Game 6 (with the Pacers down 3-2) — in the two games this series in Miami he has taken fewer shots and hit just 37.5 percent of them. He was an average of -11.5 in those two games.

If the Pacers are going to win Game 5 they are going to need “good Lance.”

And that engaged Lance manifests when he does disruptive things like walking into huddles or blowing in ears. Bird and Pacers might want fewer antics, but they need the engaged, energized Lance. Even if it is a little embarrassing.