In the pantheon of players essentially blown off over the years by LeBron James, a list that includes DeShawn Stevenson among others, add the name of Lance Stephenson.
While James would have had to have hid in a cave for days to avoid the video, he insisted he had gone two days without seeing the seldom-used Pacers guard giving him the choke sign after James missed a technical free throw in Game 3 of the teams' Eastern Conference semifinal series.
As he prepared for Game 4 of the series, which the Heat won 101-93 to tie it 2-2 heading into Tuesday's Game 5 in Miami, James said he saw little reason to pay attention to the antics of the likes of the former University of Cincinnati standout.
First, James pled ignorance of the video that went viral moments after Stephenson had his moment in the third quarter of Thursday's Game 3.
"Nah, 'cause I don't watch TV," James said. "I haven't been looking on social networks, so I didn't know."
But he apparently knew plenty.
"I've been there before," he said of an opponent trying to make a name by mocking him. "I'm not going to stoop down to Lance Stephenson. Lance Stephenson? You guys want me to quote about Lance Stephenson?
"I'm not even going to give him the time. Knock it off."
That, essentially, is what Pacers coach Frank Vogel told Stephenson to do, as well.
"He actually came to me before I could even get to him and apologized to me for being a distraction, for having it be in the media and on 'SportsCenter,'" Vogel said. "He knows it was wrong. I agreed with him 100 percent that it was wrong, not something that we condone.
"He's a really good kid. He's come a long way with his maturity in his first two years. I fully support who he is as a guy, as a player, as him being one of our guys, and I actually want that kind of enthusiasm on the bench. I just don't want gestures that go over the top."
Stephenson has had his share of uneven moments with the Pacers since being taken No. 40 in the 2010 NBA Draft. But there appears to be no further sanction this time from the team.
"He was over the line," Vogel said. "He knows he made a mistake. We're ready to move on."
It didn't stop there, though, with Stephenson getting into a testy pregame moment with Heat power forward Juwan Howard before Sunday's Game 4. Neither Stephenson nor Howard played Sunday, so it ended there.
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