The NBA playoffs are a stressful time for basketball players as they inch towards an NBA championship and the tension between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat reached there highest levels to date on Thursday night after Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was caught on camera flash a choking gesture at Heat star LeBron James.
The gesture came after LeBron James missed a free throw following a technical foul in the third quarter of the Pacers’ 94-75 Game three win.
On Saturday Stephenson told NBA.com:
“I was wrong and disrespectful to my teammates, the Miami Heat and their organization. I’m sorry that I did that. It was very disrespectful.”
Stephenson then continued:
“(I) try to talk to other players, but in a good way. Get them off their game a little bit but not being disrespectful. I just got out of hand one time, and I’ll never do it again.”
While the replay of his choking gesture has been shown many times on television over the last several days Miami Heat’s LeBron James had avoided the media fallout until finally revealing on Saturday:
“Lance Stephenson? You want a quote about Lance Stephenson? I’m not even going to give him the time. Knock it off.”
You may recall that James is no stranger to strange NBA playoffs moments, in 2007 he compared himself to Jay-Z and Washington Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson to one-hit wonder Soulja Boy.
In the meantime its not like Lance Stephenson has had a chance to choke on his own, he has only played for one minute in the Miami Heat series and during his 42 games this season he averaged just 2.5 points. It is sure easy not to choke when you spend most of your time warming the bench.