Larry Bird to Lance Stephenson: No more blowing in ears
Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was one of the most notorious trash talkers in the NBA during his Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics. Bird rarely stopped running his mouth on the court, but he almost always backed it up. And he definitely didn’t blow in anyone’s ear.
On Thursday, Bird was asked if he was bothered by Lance Stephenson blowing on LeBron James during Game 5. He was very blunt about it.
“Yes I am,” he told USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt in a text message.
Bird’s displeasure with Stephenson’s childish antics became even more clear on Friday, when reporters started asking the 23-year-old about the infamous incident.
Lance Stephenson says Larry Bird told him not to pull the ear-blowing stunt again.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 30, 2014
Reynolds also noted that Stephenson was asked by a reporter how he thought blowing in LeBron’s ear helped the Pacers. Before he could answer, a Pacers PR person told Stephenson, “Lance, go shoot.”
Pacers coach Frank Vogel also said on Thursday that the team does not condone what Stephenson did.
“Blowing in his face probably crosses the line,” Vogel explained. “That’s not really who we are. We want to be a competitive team, but we don’t want to cross the line.”
Stephenson isn’t throwing cheap shots or trying to injure anyone. He’s trying to get under the Heat’s skin any way he can, and he’s embarrassing himself in the process. The fact that Bird and Vogel both refused to stand behind the former Cincinnati star in the middle of a crucial playoff series tells you everything you need to know.