Skip to content

Larry Bird told Lance Stephenson to cut it out with the antics

May 30, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT

Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Lance Stephenson, Erik Spoelstra Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Lance Stephenson, Erik Spoelstra

Larry Bird talked his share of trash during his NBA years… and he took up Danny Ainge’s share, Dennis Johnson’s share and probably a few other guys as well. He talked a lot.

But he didn’t like Lance Stephenson’s antics in Game 5 — blowing in LeBron James’ ear, walking into a Heat huddle and flopping.

Stephenson said Bird came down and told him to cut it out, reports the Associated Press.

“He said, `Don’t do it again,”‘ Stephenson said Friday, recalling his talk with Bird. “So I’m not going to do it again.”

Stephenson’s antics have drawn as much attention as his play this series — he has averaged 14.6 points per game on 50 percent shooting (but just 21.6 percent from three), plus 6.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He has at times been the Pacers best, most aggressive player.

But they are going to need more out of him in Miami Friday night in Game 6 (with the Pacers down 3-2) — in the two games this series in Miami he has taken fewer shots and hit just 37.5 percent of them. He was an average of -11.5 in those two games.

If the Pacers are going to win Game 5 they are going to need “good Lance.”

And that engaged Lance manifests when he does disruptive things like walking into huddles or blowing in ears. Bird and Pacers might want fewer antics, but they need the engaged, energized Lance. Even if it is a little embarrassing.

  1. denverhoopdreams - May 30, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    They’re replaying Game 5 tonight?

    • bigbamboom1 - May 30, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      I’m watching game 6 right now. It’s near the end of the 1st half. And so far he hasn’t listened to a word Bird said. I think he’s actually distracting his own team mates more with all of the sill antics. Because the officials are all over him. And collaterally going after other Pacers too. So I wouldn’t be surprised if a few pacers don’t go after Stephenson at halftime and make him tone it down. Indiana is down by 20 points.

  2. ProBasketballPundit - May 30, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    So Lance will only flop 2-3 times tonight? It’s a good thing flopping isn’t a statistic because he’s never stop padding his numbers.

    • sportsfan18 - May 30, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      He’s just following in his flopper mentor’s footsteps… LeFlop James…

      • sportsfan18 - May 30, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        just Google “LeBron King of Flops” and you’ll be able to watch some hilarious flops that LeBron takes on Youtube clips…

        he’s got a career in Hollywood after he retires for sure…

      • bigmeechy74 - May 30, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        He’s the best player ever

    • readysethike - May 30, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      so you’re going to act like Larry Bird never flopped?

      • sportsfan18 - May 30, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        But when Larry Legend did it, it was a virtuoso performance…

        There are good flops and bad flops…

        Larry Legend is a WINNER and his flops were winner’s too…

      • ProBasketballPundit - May 30, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        I doubt Larry ever used Lance’s patented shot-by-a-sniper flopping routine.

      • sportsfan18 - May 30, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Of course not, his were only the good variety…

        sorry, Bird isn’t that much older than me and I grew up in Indiana and went to college at IU and am a huge Bird fan.

        Bird rarely flopped as it just didn’t happen much back in the league then…

        The league was a LOT more physical then, no flagrant fouls, you were almost mugged when you drove down the lane…

        Players didn’t give cheap fouls too often and flopping wasn’t something the Magic’s, Bird’s and Mj’s prided themselves in.

        When the Bulls and Pistons had all their battles, and battles they were, there weren’t cheap fouls but people getting plastered.

        The Bad Boys of Detroit – Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn…

        The Bulls eventually got by the Pistons though…

    • antistratfordian - May 30, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      He’s a Pacer. If flopping is good enough for the greatest Pacer of all time – Reggie Miller – then it’s good enough for Lance Stephenson.

      • ProBasketballPundit - May 30, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Ugh, Reggie Miller. Probably most overrated player in NBA history. Has one strength: scoring. Only finishes top 10 in scoring once and that year he was 8th. Somehow goes on to be remembered as one of the greatest scorers.

      • sportsfan18 - May 30, 2014 at 7:57 PM


        You don’t think Reggie was one of the greatest scorers in history?

        Reggie is SEVENTH (7th) all time for having the HIGHEST career true shooting percentage in the HISTORY of the league.

        Only 6 players have a higher true shooting percentage than Reggie.

        Simply scoring a lot of points, in and of itself, does NOT mean one is a great scorer.

        If they are inefficient and have to take a lot of shots to get their points (like Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant) then they are not great scorers.

        A GREAT scorer scores efficiently. Teams only get so many possessions and field goal attempts per game and when a player has to take a lot of shots to get points, it doesn’t help their team as much as when a player scores efficiently.

        Reggie Miller’s career true shooting percentage is an INSANELY high .614%

        He was NOT a big who took 4 foot shots and dunks all the time either you know…

        You BET Reggie is a great scorer. He FILLED it up and did so efficiently.

        Here is the link to the stats for all time true shooting percentage leaders in the history of the NBA.

        Lastly, here is an example from a website about shooting and scoring and it illustrates which one is better.

        It’s from HoopsHype dot com

        A stat called points per shot takes into account all shots taken by a player be they 2 pt, 3 pt or free throws.

        The more points a player averages per individual shot, the better he is.

        Player A

        12 – 27 FG
        2 – 6 3 pt shots
        6 – 8 free throws

        30 points for the game

        Player B

        5 – 9 FG
        1 – 2 3 pt shots
        9 – 10 free throws

        20 points

        Player A who scored 30 points in the game only scored 1.11 points per shot he took in the game.

        Player B, with 20 points in the game, scored 2.22 points per shot he took in the game.

        In other words, Player B was 100% GREAT than player A’s.

        Scoring 30 points on that many shots is NOT as good as scoring 20 points the way player B did it.

        If Player B had taken as many shots as player A did, he would have scored 40 points and not just the 30 points player A did.

        Player A is NOT efficient.

        GREAT scorers score alright, but they score efficiently too. They don’t WASTE opportunities and chances and make it harder for their team to win by ending so many of their limited team possessions with misses that the other team gets by rebounding their misses.

        Empty trips down the courts without any points that give the other team the ball aren’t good.

        Reggie put the ball in the basketball at a rate that only 6 men beat in the entire history of the game.


  3. chicagosports2014 - May 30, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Lance not getting in trouble off the floor. PHIL LET RODMAN DO IT AND THEY GOT RINGS TO SHOW FOR IT!

  4. kb2408 - May 30, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    This is just dumb! NBA pundits have been talking about this for two freaking days! So what, he blew in the dudes ear for a few seconds. And Bird needs to stop acting like this is a big deal. The only reason this is “news” is because it was caught on tape. Way more than this happens that we never see! Instead of talking about the job Lance did in helping to hold LBJ to 2-10, we want to keep talking about his so called antics. I’m not a Pacers fan but if I was, I wouldn’t care what he does to LeBron if he holds him to 20 pts less than his average again. Speaking of which, Heat fans keep saying LeBron only scored so few points because he was in foul trouble. But he still played 24 mins!! Even if you double his mins, at that same level of production he was on pace for 14 points. Give Lance some freaking credit already!!

    • billtetley53 - May 31, 2014 at 9:45 PM

      You may like other dudes blowin in your ear, but the rest of us think its odd.
      I support your right to do what makes you happy though kb……

  5. showtime1911 - May 30, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Yes sir boss! Grits dummy!,, wow I thought we were free.

    • sportsfan18 - May 30, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      As Magic Johnson said…

      “There will never, ever, ever be another Larry Bird…”

      • therealhtj - May 30, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        Of course not. He’d be too slow for today’s NBA.

      • sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Larry would STILL light it up…

        Others run fast and MISS tons of shots…

        Others run fast and throw the ball out of bounds…

        Others run fast and have 10 cent brains and don’t know what the hell they’re doing on the court…

        Larry would take delight in lighting them up too… he’d really enjoy himself out there against the idiots that play today…

        Hey, I think Magic needs to be quiet today, his mouth but I really respect Magic’s game and how he played back in the day.

        Players like Magic and Bird really had high basketball IQ’s…

        They were quants compared to just math majors..

  6. cantonbound13 - May 30, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Lance is awesome.

    • finsfan71 - May 30, 2014 at 9:58 PM

      Hey Richie, try not to choke on the tavern ham just yet. There’s a whole half to go.

      • cantonbound13 - May 31, 2014 at 5:16 AM

        Why do you keep calling me Richie? Makes no sense.

    • sportsfan18 - May 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      you forgot the rest of your sentence

      Lance is awesome at clowning around…

      Lance is awesome at goofing off…

      Lance is awesome at not being awesome…

    • 1historian - Jun 3, 2014 at 12:51 PM


  7. papichulo55 - May 30, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    Crazy behavior from a player lookin for a new contract. I would bet the house that Larry Bird also told him that the team needed a 20-10 game. Why make Larry seem like a he is only interested in discipline and image? Lance needs to listen and learn from a great winner. If Lance wants to go public with his conversation with Larry, then tell it all.Let the young kids who are following this learn too. The playground way is not the only way.

  8. pacersfan1 - May 30, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    I hope Lance goes right at LeBron. Don’t change a thing. I am so sick of everyone on the mother ship and most others that think players should bow down to this guy. Blow in his ear. Let one rip at the foul line. Pull his bald band off of his head. Disrespect this guy in anyway you can Lance. That is what Larry legend should have told Lance. Go! Pacers!

    • finsfan71 - May 30, 2014 at 9:57 PM

      Lance Stephenson is a scumbag, sounds like he’s your hero.

      • nard100 - May 31, 2014 at 8:12 AM

        The media loves and that is a sure sign you’re not doing the right thing. It’s a little confusing when so many people seem to approve this behavior, but I will make one comment that get people thinking and shed light on why Larry Bird said what he did. During the “bad boys” days in detroit, MJ was getting killed during his games against them. How would he respond? Would he “fight fire with fire” and resort to antics? NO. He realized that at the time the NBA was allowing the excessive contact and it wasn’t going to change. So he changed. He bulked up and got stronger. He became more disciplined in his game. The next year he came back, they couldn’t touch him. They lost because Pippen had the migraine, but he served notice on the Pistons that their era was over. Can anyone say the same about Lance and the Pacers this year after this loss? I don’t think so.

  9. bostonfrogs - May 30, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Growing up a Bad Boys Piston fan, there was no opponent I respected more in that era than Larry Bird and the Celtics. Bird was an unparalleled competitor–his in-game trash talk alone would Eminem blush. The guy was a winner in the truest sense of the word, one who would look for any and every conceivable opportunity to get inside the heads of his opponents.

    Fast forward 25 years. Larry Legend, an NBA exec with a mediocre track record, worried about a player’s on-court antics hurting the feelings of an arch rival during the playoffs? Somewhere Robert Parrish’s fists are now weeping at the thought of how, instead of pummeling Bill Laimbeer’s face, they could simply have provider him a gentle facial with cucumber exfoliator scrub. It’s a sad, sad day when political correctness can overwhelm even an old warrior like Bird.

    • 1historian - Jun 3, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      He talks mush to the press, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he talks a little straighter one on one with Stephenson.

  10. steelerfanforlife - May 30, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Can Pat Riley tell the best player on the planet that’s it tarnishes his reputation when he flops?!!

  11. steelerfanforlife - May 30, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Commenter A doesn’t care about your stupid player A or B stats!

  12. johnheisman - May 31, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    If I ever have another son his name won’t be Lance. The Lance’s in sports are all trouble makers. Lance “the Pants” Rentzel, Lance Armstrong and now Lance Stevenson. It is also a dumb name. Lance “Bambi” Alworth might be the exception.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2567)
  2. K. Irving (2245)
  3. A. Davis (1925)
  4. L. James (1616)
  5. K. Bryant (1612)
  1. K. Durant (1492)
  2. A. Aminu (1467)
  3. M. Leonard (1431)
  4. T. Thompson (1394)
  5. A. Jefferson (1266)