May 17, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (6) drives to the basket against the Miami Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Miami 94-75. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Of all things to get a skyrocket in publicity coming out of the Indiana Pacers' 94-75 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday, Lance Stephenson's choke sign directed at LeBron James following a missed technical foul shot is perhaps the most ridiculous. So of course, when the discussion wheel on how the Miami Heat are in trouble starts to wear a little thin, the spin directed back to Lance for the gesture, because it'd be even more ridiculous to talk about the Pacers and how they play basketball when it's not a prelude to what the Heat are doing wrong.
Look, should Lance Stephenson had made the sign? Eh...probably not. But was it really the transgression it's being made out to be? Eh...probably not. Regardless, the whole matter reached a tidy resolution when Lance Stephenson apologized for the action, saying "I was wrong and disrespectful to my teammates, the Miami Heat, and their organization" in an apology that didn't really need to be made, but still a nice gesture as Frank Vogel closed up shop by backing up Stephenson's apology.
So why does it suddenly become text message inbox material again when LeBron James responds by saying, "You want a quote about Lance Stephenson? I'm not even giving him the time." It's not like he's wrong. Why should James care about Stephenson or what Stephenson did on the bench? The belligerent tagline on ESPN's front page, pumping up the response with "LeBron scoffs at Stephenson," is the real story within this whole non-story.
James gets killed by the media more than he should. There are times he deserves what he gets, there are a lot of times he doesn't. This is one of the times when James says the perfect thing. It was the momentary response by this Pacers team biggest fan, one that should be shrugged off and forgotten about. Instead of dissecting the quote as James "disrespecting" Lance, dissect the quote as what it is: nothing to see here, move along, move along.