10 Times Poking the Bear Went Wrong in Sports

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10 Times Poking the Bear Went Wrong in Sports
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Poke a bear while he is sleeping and it will chase you down and destroy you.

Poke LeBron James on the basketball court, and he'll do the exact same thing.

Lance Stephenson learned that the hard way in this year's Eastern Conference Finals, attempting to get under LeBron's skin and instead inspiring him to turn in an utterly dominant performance.

Whether or not Stephenson's remarks provided extra motivation for LeBron and the Heat, it certainly didn't help, and the Eastern Conference Finals ended the same way they do every single year—Heat go on, Pacers go home.

Sometimes, trash talk can be great. It builds up your own confidence. It gets you revved up for competition. It gets under your opponent's skin and throws it off its game.

Sometimes, however, trash talk goes terribly wrong.

Indeed, saying the wrong thing—poking that bear just a little too hard—can backfire. This is a list of those times—the times that trash-talking has inspired opponents to rise to a new level of dominance that would have otherwise never been possible.

Needless to say, if you do end up waking a sleeping bear, you'd better run for your life.


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