Former Miami Heat menace, Shane Battier recently appeared on The Dan Dakich Show to talk college hoops, but the conversation eventually turned to Heat and Pacers. DD tried to get Battier to agree that the Heat with all of their stars, never considered the Pacers a true threat.
But Battier said that wasn't the case and then startlingly gave Lance Stephenson credit for waking up the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals last year by blowing in the ear of LeBron James. Here's what Battier had to say.
Battier: We were fearful the last year I played, last year. We had serious trepidation about playing them. What helped us was Lance Stephenson blowing in LeBron's ear.
DD: How so?
Battier: You talk about waking a sleeping giant, that was the equivalent of someone coming up and slapping LeBron James in the face, and it really woke us up. We had serious issues at that point and that was our last stand. I know Indiana fans weren't too happy with that but that was really the difference and propelled us to get motivated to win the Eastern Conference finals again.
DD: Wait a second. So for all of the great, all of your greatness as a player professionally and college, LeBron's and Wade's and Bosh's and Ray Allen's and Pat Riley, you're telling me that the, in my opinion, clown that is Lance Stephenson, woke your crew up with that.
Battier: That was the motivation that we needed. That was the motivation. We were searching for the motivation and we were supplied it. Thanks, Lance. It worked out well.
Battier then went on to say how the team determined there was no way they were letting the Pacers beat them after what happened. Hmm.
It makes for a great story, although if I recall correctly, and believe me the painful memory remains fresh, the Heat lost Game 5 when Lance went to work but still maintained a 3-2 lead in the series. They then went home to close out the Finals with relative ease.
So saying the Heat were a mess and in disarray seems a bit of a stretch and more likely Battier just enjoyed the opportunity take a dig at Lance. No doubt the Heat were motivated and enjoyed the thrashing they delivered in Game 6, but I find it hard to give all of the credit for winning the series to the antics by Lance Stephenson.
But, again it does make for a great story. Thanks, Shane.
Listen to the whole interview here.