Indiana’s Lance Stephenson had to have known while he was putting his hands around his own neck that the hoops world would see it. He had to have known, at least, that Miami would see it. So if he knew even one of those two, he should have known the Heat weren’t going to be happy about it. Specifically, Juwan Howard.
Stephenson did the mock choke gesture in Game 3 on a LeBron James free throw, and the Heat saw it then. Howard — whose NBA debut was a little more than four years after Stephenson was born — even gave him an elbow bump in garbage time of that Pacers win. Before Game 4 on Sunday, Howard went to, er, reinforce the message by hashing it out in pregame before being separated (they also tangled in a February game that led to Howard’s ejection).
The Indianapolis Star reported Howard went to Indiana’s locker room and left a message.
According to The Indianapolis Star, Howard told a couple of Pacers players to relay a message to Stephenson for him on Saturday. “Tell him I’m going to [expletive] him up,” Howard told Dahntay Jones and Paul George, according to the Star.
Was Howard justified to do this in warmups?
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