Stevenson: LeBron beef 'pretty much over'

May, 27, 2011
5/27/11
2:53
PM CT
DALLAS -- DeShawn Stevenson cracked a brief smile but offered no fresh ammunition when asked about his long-standing beef with LeBron James.

“I don’t think he forgot,” Stevenson said. “It’s still there, but it was with my old team. I think it’s pretty much over. It’s a different team, different type of situation. But sometimes people don’t forget things.”

[+] EnlargeLeBron James
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisDeShawn Stevenson (then with Washington) says this little rift with LeBron James (then with Cleveland) in 2008 -- with Brendan Haywood running interference -- is water under the bridge.
There are many other storylines that will get more attention when Stevenson’s Mavericks and James’ Heat meet in the NBA Finals. But the rap star-studded back and forth between them dominated the headlines during the Wizards-Cavaliers first-round series in 2008.

It started with Stevenson, whose Washington team was eliminated by King James’ Cavs the previous two postseasons, calling James “overrated.” LeBron answered by saying responding to Stevenson would be like rap icon Jay-Z getting into it with one-hit wonder Soulja Boy.

And then it was really on.

Stevenson reached out to Soulja Boy after the Cavs took a 2-0 lead. After the creator of “Crank Dat” got the Verizon Center crowd crunk by doing his famous dance as his song blared over the loudspeakers, Stevenson drilled five 3-pointers while harassing James into an off night during a lopsided Washington win.

King James rolled his eyes at postgame questions about a rivalry with Stevenson. However, the Washington Post reported that James had Jay-Z record a song with lyrics that ripped Stevenson, a track that was played at LeBron’s party the next night at D.C. hotspot Love.

Stevenson was pretty steamed at the time, but he’s not sweating it now.

“I’m not worried about it,” Stevenson said. “But at the same time, you know it’s there.

“I think he already is fired up any time we’re on the court together. I think he’s worried about winning a championship, and so are we. It’s not about me and him. It’s about going out there and playing and bringing home a ring.”

The trash talking didn’t exactly help Stevenson’s cause during that series. James averaged 29.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.7 assists while the Cavs won in six, closing out the series with a triple-double in D.C.

Of course, James put up pretty impressive numbers the previous two postseasons against Stevenson and the Wizards. James averaged 27.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists in a 2007 sweep and 35.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists while the Cavs won in six games in 2006.

Pretty impressive numbers for an overrated player, huh?

Stevenson now acknowledges that his animosity toward LeBron stemmed from the Cavs repeatedly eliminating the Wizards. He refers to James as an “MVP-type of player” and says LeBron is either the best in the league or right behind Kobe Bryant.

Wait … what about Dirk Nowitzki? Doesn’t he deserve to be considered in that company?

“Oh, Dirk don’t worry about that,” Stevenson said, cracking another smile. “I’d rather have my teammate mad at me than somebody else.”

Especially LeBron, as Stevenson learned from playoff experience.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Rick Carlisle

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Galloway & Company: Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Mark Cuban talk

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: The Standoff

Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ramona Shelburne

ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Buy or sell

Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2