DeShawn Stevenson: ‘LeBron Didn’t Play Like He Should’ve Played’ in NBA Finals

by March 07, 2012

While complimenting the new and improved Miami Heat, who tore up the visiting New Jersey Nets by 30 points last night, DeShawn Steveson managed to get in a subtle dig against his longtime nemesis LeBron James. From the Bergen Record: “Stevenson was asked the difference between the Heat of this year and the Heat that lost to Stevenson’s Mavericks in last year’s Finals. ‘I think we were just a better team than them,’ Stevenson said. ‘And then obviously LeBron didn’t play like he should have played [in the Finals].’ Stevenson had a lot to do with that, playing key defense on James and hitting several key shots of his own to help the Mavericks defeat the Heat in six games. James struggled mightily, extending the narrative that has dogged LeBron his entire career: he’s a great regular season player, but when the games matter most, or when the moment is there to be seized, he’s not the same guy. Stevenson, of course, has a tumultuous history with James — including a lot of trash talk between the two when Stevenson was with the Wizards and James was with the Cavs. Jay-Z even made a rap track dissing Stevenson. But mixed in with his dig, Stevenson also had plenty of praise for the Heat. ‘I just think they have more confidence,’ Stevenson said. ‘LeBron has more confidence, Dwyane Wade always played well. And I think Bosh even he’s stepping up big. They’re just a solid team. And whenever you’ve got LeBron playing like that, they’re going to win the championship.’ A moment later, Stevenson said he believed the Heat would win this year’s championship. ‘I think so,’ Stevenson said. ‘I really do. … They’re a great team, a team that went to the Finals last year. That’s the same pieces with even more additions. They play the right way. They picked us apart. Just a great team.'”