With the feud that’s festered between DeShawn Stevenson and LeBron James, you had to know that if the Mavericks beat the Heat for a championship, Stevenson’s trash talk would come quickly and with whole lot of vinegar.
We are not disappointed.
TMZ released this photo of a celebratory Stevenson shouting out LeBron via a t-shirt with the message “Hey LeBron! How’s my Dirk taste?”
Of course, Stevenson wasn’t going to let a t-shirt do all of his talking for him. After the game he told ESPNDallas.com that a championship feels even better knowing he went through LeBron to get it.
“It makes me feel good, man, to beat him, to beat that Miami team,” Stevenson told ESPNDallas.com in an AmericanAirlines Arena hallway after the Mavs clinched the title with Sunday’s Game 6 win. “The way they act, the way they treated Dirk [Nowitzki], all the things that they said were very classless. To win on the court the way we did it, it was wonderful.”
Ever since LeBron entered the league, people have been trying to find him a rival. At first it was going to be Carmelo Anthony, but as James’ star shined brighter, he was placed side-by-side with Kobe Bryant. As age and injury have started to slow Kobe and LeBron’s talent (and celebrity) took him higher, people tried to measure him against Michael Jordan – a comparison that crumbled with each of LeBron’s 4th quarter vanishing acts.
Maybe we set our sights way too high. Maybe we’ve just been looking in the wrong place. Maybe it’s time we start looking at Stevenson as LeBron’s true rival.
The Heat spent a lot of time addressing haters – from Dwyane Wade complaining that the world wants Miami to lose to LeBron’s post-Game Six comments about his haters and their personal problems. All the while, he’s never turned that type of laser focus to comments from Stevenson, generally treating them like a fish that’s too small.
But Stevenson stood in LeBron’s way and ultimately took what he wanted – not Mo Williams or Dan Gilbert or anyone else in the city of Cleveland. They didn’t force LeBron into missed three pointers. They didn’t keep him off the free throw line. DeShawn Stevenson and the Dallas Mavericks did that. No longer can he ignore the guy who challenged him, won when it counted most and now will very publicly enjoy the spoils. And neither should we.