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Vogel tries to end drummed-up controversy with LeBron

May 21, 2013, 1:19 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Three Getty Images

We need a game in this series so we can talk about basketball and not this ridiculous game of telephone.

As we explained before, LeBron James took umbrage at something a reporter told him Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel said — except Vogel never said it. What Vogel said was, “They’re the next team that’s in our way and that’s how we’re approaching it.” Somehow that got translated by a reporter speaking to LeBron as, “Vogel was saying last night that you guys are just another team.’’ So LeBron said he would be ready to show him they are not just another team.

And this was all over sports talk radio, major sports news broadcasts and just about everywhere else Monday. Because…. I have no idea why. But it would not die.

So Monday Vogel was asked to respond to LeBron’s response to the thing he never said. And Vogel’s response was to say he never said it, reports the Pacers official Web site.

“Sorry sports world, the words ‘just another team’ never came out of my mouth,” he said. “Great respect for LBJ and the champs. Looking forward to [a] great series.”

It should be a fun series. The Pacers had a 2-1 lead on the Heat last season and they are certainly playing more cohesively this year (and likely will deal better with defenders fronting the post). That said, Miami has Chris Bosh healthy this time around and that will make things a lot harder on Roy Hibbert, who would prefer not to have to cover his man at the arc.

Can’t wait to see how it all plays out. Really sick of the long break before the start of the series, where non-issues like this become issues.

  1. fanatics0000 - May 21, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Let a team talk crap about the enemy if they feel the need to. Basketball as been watered down because of the so called image they’re trying to portray. Give me hard fouls and emotions any day.

  2. lakerade - May 21, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Having no NBA news tonight was rough, but yeah, Lebron vs Vogel was an even bigger indicator what fills the void that is the loss of momentum from this scheduling gap. At least give us a coach’s presser or something, Stern!

  3. adoombray - May 21, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    It would not die because it kept getting mentioned… this post is as an example of why it would not die. Classic Helin, pretending that he isn’t a part of the same hypocrisy, Media referring to themselves in the third person when it’s the first. 😛

  4. erckle31 - May 21, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    This was blown WAY out of proportion. The fact that this got so big is ridiculous, and the way Lebron misinterpreted it only made it worse.

    • brutl - May 21, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Actually Lebron didn’t misinterptret it. The quote given to him by the reporter was wrong. I know you guys would love to blame Lebron and say he took it out of context, but it was a reporter that fed him the quote in the first place. Dennis Scott said as much yesterday on Gametime.

  5. nbascreed - May 21, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    “We need a game in this series so we can talk about basketball and not this ridiculous game of telephone.”

    Says the kid purposely misconstruing the telephonic phrase….sheesh!

  6. ryanrockzzz - May 21, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    Welcome to modern sensation….I mean journalism.

  7. JMClarkent - May 21, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    I am excited for this series; the Pacers have a lot of length, which I think can at the very least annoy the heck out of Miami. Market-wise, could you imagine if the finals were Memphis versus Indiana? Stern would cut his throat while jumping off of the Brooklyn bridge.

    • chicitybulls - May 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      This kind of thing blows me. Do any fans really care about ratings? As a fan I just want to see the 2 best teams that has earned the right to be there. I could care less what city they play in. Tony Kornheiser (sp?) has that bad. I actually think a Memphis/Indy finals would be a good matchup. Gasol and Z-Bo vs. Hibbert and West. Conley vs. Hill. Prince vs. George. Good matchups all around.

      • JMClarkent - May 21, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        Two notes:

        – I find the economics of the league interesting (I think you might have missed the point). While I don’t root economically (I am a Utah Jazz fan, not exactly a juggernaut), I (as well as many others) enjoy “behind the curtain” conjecture.

        – To quote John Spartan in Demolition Man, “Away. Blow this guy away!”

      • chicitybulls - May 21, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        No I get it. I just dont care about the economics. I dont feel any sorrow from a multi million (probably billion) dollar organization that supposedly would lose money if a smaller market team plays in the Finals. They have surplus so they’ll be fine. Especially with all the phantom time outs so they can put on a commercial. It’s not as bad as college ball but still pretty bad.

        And to your second point….I guess I’ve matched my meet.

  8. iamarobot947 - May 21, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    if it is a fake story why do you keep reporting on it?

    • Kurt Helin - May 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      Why do you keep clicking and commenting on it?

  9. miaheater - May 21, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Heat in 6.

    • emosnar - May 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      Pacers in 5 maybe 6. Heads will roll and balance will be restored.

      • miaheater - May 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        I don’t see that happening with a healthy Chris Bosh, I could see them pushing 7, but that’s it…..

  10. tsoul007 - May 21, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    The reporters on this issue have too much time on their hands and I advise them to look for news worthy events to write about. All I know is that Miami have to come out and play like champions because Pacers are not going to hand over the series to the Heat on a silver platter. The Heat cannot afford to be behind 2-1 like they did last season. The Heat is my team and they are good but they have to come out every night to want to win.

    My advice is; let everyone with loose mouth shot up and leave the players alone. They have a job to do and they don’t need the media dragging any one of them into “this say & that say” They are professionals and I’m sure they don’t need any distractions from the public, period. The Heat will win in 5 if there is no B/S from the referees and if Pacers don’t result into the type of useless tactics of the Bulls. There are rules in basketball so I will expect both teams to follow the rules and play great basketball.

    All of us as fans of the Heat & Pacers love to see a great basketball game between both teams. I as a fan don’t like to see any player attack others like we saw in the Bulls series. A basketball player should have respect for other players, don’t try in any way to hurt an opponent; just come on the court to display your talent. It is certain that some players will be better than the others——–such is life and that is why every one of us can never have the same DNA. I look forward to a clean basketball show time, where the great talent of professional basketball players will be displayed.

  11. livingsacrifice86 - May 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I think the Heat will win this series, but I hope the Pacers make it interesting. Alot different matchup than last year. Heat are with Bosh and some new, good role players. Pacers are down Danny Granger but the continued development of George and emergence of Stephenson may make up for it. Should be a good one

  12. canehouse - May 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    The reporter was doing the ultimate Troll job… such rubbish for him to do so. Would have rather seen LeBron “no comment”… but this sort of journalism ends up getting LeBron even more fired up than what Vogel didn’t say… I think this series will go 6. Pacers have a fantastic half court game but where they will fall short is their ball handling… Miami will capitalize on that in a very firm way.

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