Back in 2014, Lance Stephenson blew in LeBron James‘ ear, creating a meme for the ages.
Stephenson has a long history of getting under the skin of James, dating back to when James was with the Miami Heat. Every time James and Stephenson face off, the two always seem to get into some type of minor tussle, with Stephenson always being the instigator.
That’s why many were surprised when the Los Angeles Lakers signed Stephenson shortly after James announced he was leaving Cleveland for the Lakers. Stephenson’s agent called James’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, to make sure James was on board with Stephenson signing with the Lakers, according to a report from the LA Times.
Stephenson, who has always felt his famed rivalry with James was rooted in mutual respect, got a call from the four-time MVP pitching him on teaming up in LA. But everyone has always wanted to know one thing: What was Stephenson thinking when he blew in James’ ear?
“I was really trying to get him mad, really trying to win the game, get him unfocused,” Stephenson told The Score in an interview. “And I was trying anything. LeBron was such a good player, you know. I was trying to do anything to get him frustrated. It’s going to be different, being friends with LeBron, you know what I mean?”
Stephenson signed a one-year deal with the Lakers. He will make $4.5 million in 2018-19.
In 82 games this past season with the Indiana Pacers, Stephenson averaged 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists, shooting 42.7 percent from the field and 28.9 percent from three.