LeBron James is a monument in the NBA and all players respect him for his game, his record, his place in history. But that hasn’t always been the case. At the time, stars did not hesitate to openly threaten the King to get him out of matches, with some success.
LeBron James is without a doubt one of the most respected players in the NBA, and this has become more and more true over the years. While some don’t care who the King is and what he has achieved in his career, the young talents coming to the league have mostly grown up watching the exploits of No. 23/6, so they don’t dare not provoke him too violently.
That’s why the reactions have been so strong this season, when the inside of the Pistons Isaiah Stewart tried to beat up the King after a vicious, but unintentional nudge. In the current league, LeBron James has no real rival, Lance Stephenson no longer being a player who matters, and Kevin Durant not being the most provocative.
But the King did not always have this comfort, since in the early 2010s, when he was still looking for his first championship title, he was particularly heckled by certain opponents. In the 2011 Finals, Mavericks player DeShawn Stevenson apparently had a technique of his own to distract LeBron and outsmart him. He spoke ahead of his game for the Big 3 league.
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) July 3, 2017
Michael Rapport: Tell me a secret technique, a single method that you used when you faced LeBron James. Because you always managed to get inside his head. If I had to face LeBron…
From Shawn Stevenson: Before the in-between I told him that I was going to beat him up. That’s exactly what I told him, and he’s respected me ever since.
DeShawn Stevenson was obviously one of the few people who could unsettle a young LeBron, and he used violence to do that. This is not the most respectable method, but it is clear that it was effective, since the King has never been so disappointing as in the 2011 Finals against the Mavericks. This statement may give some ideas.
This release of FromShawn Stevenson proves one thing, it is impossible to destabilize LeBron James in the game, you have to go through alternative methods to get him out of a match. And today, threats would no doubt no longer have the same effect.