The fallout from Lance Stephenson’s choke gesture after LeBron James missed a free throw in Game 3 has been mixed. James himself wouldn’t even give a response to the gesture, but LeBron’s teammate Juwan Howard reportedly took offense to the gesture.
According to reports, Howard attempted to confront Stephenson on Saturday before the Heat took the court for practice. And if that were not enough, Howard confronted Stephenson during shoot around on Sunday right before Game 4.
Here are the events from Saturday via The Indianapolis Star:
As the Heat were making their way to the Pacers practice court on Saturday, Howard turned down the hallway that leads to the Pacers locker room, asking – and cussing – where he could find Stephenson.
Dahntay Jones, who was outside the locker room with teammate Paul George, a Pacers employee, his son and his mother, went and talked to Howard before the 39-year-old Howard turned around and went toward the practice court with the rest of his teammates.
“Tell him I’m going to (expletive) him up,” Howard said to Dahntay Jones, Paul George and another Pacers employee.
And from Yahoo! Sports comes the events during shoot around minutes before Game 4:
Miami Heat forward Juwan Howard and Stephenson exchanged sharp words within inches of each other’s faces on the court. Stephenson, who flashed a choke sign at Heat star LeBron James in the Pacers’ Game 3 victory, had been shooting with the Pacers on one end of the floor when Howard walked past on the way to Miami’s locker room.
It was unclear which player had said something to start the jawing, but Howard was soon warning Stephenson to keep his mouth shut, as Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw stepped between the players and nudged Howard away from the court. There didn’t appear to be any possibility that the altercation would evolve into violence, but Howard clearly had no use for Stephenson, nor his attitude.
Stephenson responded with a half-smile, and kept taking his warm-up jumper shots as Howard was escorted away from the floor.
And finally, here’s video of the altercation during shoot around: