In sports, both professional and amateur, there exist the type of players who use skills separate from athletic abilities to gain any edge they can, whether real or imaginary. In the basketball world, such legendary names that fulfilled this role include Dennis “The Worm” Rodman and Metta World Peace. Hell, there was a recent ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary that gave intense insight into the back-to-back World Champion “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons, with help from Rodman, used just as many non basketball tactics as the typical ones (shooting, passing, rebounding, etc.) to gain an edge.
Insert Lance Stephenson.
During last night’s sudden death game (for the Indiana Pacers), Lance-a-Make-Him-Dance resorted to blowing into the ear/face of LeBron James in an attempt to get under his skin. It can be debated whether or not his immature tactics worked, but at the end of the day, Indy survived, forcing a Game 6 back in Miami.
After the game and today, Blowgate was a major topic of conversation. For example:
Unnamed Typically Logical Human Being: “What the hell was up with that guy blowing into LeBron’s face. That’s sick. Probably one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen in a game. Totally unnecessary.”
(Clip plays on Sportscenter showing Dennis Rodman grapple/face-to-face grind with Antonio Davis)
Me: “Compared to that doe?”
Unnamed Typically Logical Human Being: “What? Rodman? That’s just playing hard, being aggressive. You gotta do whatever it takes to win the game!”
Me: “So you’re cool with a dude grappling with another after the whistle blows, then purposely engaging in a front-to-front sexual grind with an opposing plan just to mess with him, over Lance blowing in LeBron’s ear?”
Unnamed Typically Logical Human Being: “Yeah man, blowing in an ear? That’s crazy.”
So what you have here is the case of, if Lance had blown into any player’s ear on the planet besides LeBron James, then this wouldn’t have been a story. And that’s fine, but the Lance slander was a bit eye-opening to me.
Rant over. What do I know?