Long before Lance Stephenson was blowing in LeBron James' ear, the controversial 25-year-old was nearly involved in a locker room brawl with several Miami Heat players.
Danny Granger said during an interview with SiriusXM Radio (h/t Patrick Britton of The Score) that Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem and Juwan Howard were looking for Stephenson in the locker room during an off day in the 2012 playoff series between the Heat and Indiana Pacers.
However, Granger may have misremembered some of the details of the situation, as Andersen did not join the Heat until the following season.
"They were protecting LeBron. They thought Lance had done something disrespectful to him," Granger said.
Granger said that security prevented the Heat players from entering Indiana's locker room, and the situation did not escalate.
According to Granger, the incident occurred after Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Stephenson was captured on camera making a choking sign after James missed a free throw following a technical foul called against Granger during that game.
The Heat lost the game, 94-75, but they went on to win the series in six games en route to winning the NBA championship.
The rivalry between Stephenson and James continued as the Pacers and Heat met in the playoffs in each of the next two seasons. The most infamous moment occurred in Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, as Stephenson's ear-blowing incident produced hundreds of memes that still follow him around.
If Stephenson was trying to play mind games with the four-time NBA MVP, it didn't work. James' Heat got the best of Stephenson's Pacers in all three playoff matchups.