Just a day after saying he had "no regrets" making comments to the media about LeBron James' weaknesses, Pacers swingman Lance Stephenson told the Associated Press after Wednesday's shootaround that in fact he and teammate Paul George both said things they should not have made public.
Down 3-1 in the Eastern Conference finals, the Pacers face elimination on Wednesday in Indiana. According to the report, Stephenson said he should've kept his comments private and called the scrutiny he's received for going public a learning experience for himself.
The 23-year-old, now in his fourth year in the league, said prior to the Pacers' Game 4 loss that James' on-court trash talk was a "sign of weakness." George said Stephenson was "barking up the wrong tree" making comments directed toward James, who responded in Game 4 with a game-high 32 points on 13-for-21 shooting, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals in Miami's 102-90 victory.
Likewise, Stephenson said George shouldn't have suggested that Miami had gotten favorable calls during Game 4. George said after the game that the Heat benefitted from "home cooking" by the refs and that the Pacers outplayed the Heat everywhere but the free throw line. For those comments, the league fined George $25,000. James said after the game Stephenson's comments gave him "a smirk."