As he so often does, Lance Stephenson caused a buzz that went beyond the actual basketball he plays before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Well, LeBron didn't look too weak Monday, as he scored 32 points, grabbed 10 boards and dished out five assists in a 102-90 victory for his Miami Heat over the Indiana Pacers.
As for the guy who thought LeBron may be softening up? Stephenson went for nine points on 3-of-7 shooting. He hauled in five rebounds, handed out four assists and stood behind his comments:
Lance Stephenson: "I have no regrets."— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) May 27, 2014
He even gave LeBron some credit for his dominant performance:
More Stephenson: "I tried to get into his head, I guess he stepped up and got the win. I can take the heat. I can take the fire."— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) May 27, 2014
Stephenson clearly failed to get into LeBron's head, as he easily controlled the game from the opening tip to the final buzzer:
Simmons is right about LeBron always making the right decision. It's incredible how rarely he forces things, given his talent— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) May 27, 2014
Afterward, James responded to the whole fiasco:
LeBron on Stephenson: "I got a smirk out of it."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 27, 2014
Now that Stephenson and the Pacers are down, 3-1, they had better hope James starts showing some real weakness. Otherwise, they could be the next team featured on the "Gone Fishin'" segment on Inside the NBA.
Either that, or Stephenson, Paul George or some other Pacer will have to take his game up a notch.
The best way Stephenson could really stir the pot would be by dominating on the floor. Indiana needs the guy who led the league with five triple-doubles in the regular season. Not the one who provided bulletin-board material and then floundered against Miami in Game 4.
Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDBailey.