Lance Stephenson addresses famous “blowing in LeBron’s ear” moment

Of the many GIFs and memes that have circulated on Twitter over the years, perhaps nothing will ever top the “Lance Stephenson blowing in LeBron James’ ear” highlight.

Even though the hilarious trolling attempt happened during Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals between LeBron’s Miami Heat and Stephenson’s Indiana Pacers, the moment lives on to this day.

While defending James, Stephenson leaned over and simply blew in his opponent’s ear.

LeBron seemingly didn’t know how to react, but couldn’t help smiling in bewildered amusement. Stephenson was known for being a defensive pest who tries to get under the skin of his opponents, but the move was outrageous, even for him.

Now that the two are teammates having signed free agent deals with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, the question naturally came up. What on Earth was Stephenson thinking in that moment?

He actually came up with a legitimate answer during a recent interview with The Score.

The explanation

“I don’t regret it, but sometimes I look at it like, ‘Why did I do that? What made me do that?’” Stephenson asked himself.

“I was really trying to get him mad,” he admitted. “Really trying to win the game, trying to get him like unfocused. I was trying anything. … For you to do something to somebody and they don’t respond, they keep continuing and playing hard and it’s like, ‘Yo, how do I get in this (guy’s head.)’ I was just trying to find stuff.”

Stephenson knew he had to get in LeBron’s head in order for the Pacers to have a chance. Since James’ offensive talent outweighed his (and everyone else’s) defensive tenacity, he knew he needed an edge.

“LeBron was such a good player,” Stephenson said. “I was trying to do anything to get him frustrated. It’s going to be different just trying to be friends with LeBron.”

Although Stephenson will no longer display his defensive antics (and absurd tactics) on LeBron, it’s worth noting that Indiana did record the win in that playoff game. And, incredibly, James had arguably his worst playoff performance ever, scoring just seven points on 2-of-10 shooting with two rebounds and four assists and five fouls in just 24 minutes of action.

Therefore, while Stephenson’s idea was outside of the box, it might have actually played a role in what was a disappointing and embarrassing night for King James. Since Stephenson’s role will likely continue to be a gritty defensive enforcer, perhaps James might even instruct him to blow in someone else’s ear during the season.

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