In the past, Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson and Heat forward LeBron James have feuded for the past several years, mostly when Stevenson has poked at James for perceived arrogance or a reputation that outstrips his accomplishments. However, this series has been relatively tame, with several comments from Stevenson being blown out of proportion to suit the established narrative.
One of those verbal barbs involved a message on what seemed to be Stevenson's Facebook account. Except, according to the man himself, he isn't on the service. Because he has so many tattoos. Seriously. From Tim MacMahon for ESPNDallas.com (via Marcel Mutoni):
Coach Rick Carlisle caught wind of that and confronted Stevenson, telling him to stop talking trash about LeBron James. Stevenson, whose history of taking verbal jabs at King James goes back several years, was confused and told his coach that the latest comment didn't come from him.
"There's like 37 people that are acting like me on Facebook," Stevenson said. "I mean, if you look at me and look at all these tattoos, do you think I'd be sitting on the Internet and typing? C'mon, man. Sometimes you've got to look at a person. I would not be in my house on a computer typing nothing about anybody." [...]
"Let LeBron just chill. Don't put the heat on me," Stevenson said, breaking into a hearty laugh. "Everybody wants me to make him mad! Please, just leave me alone! Just leave me alone! You're going to have that man want to kill me off the court. I don't want that."
Indeed, I would not expect someone with a five-dollar bill and Abe Lincoln tattoo on his throat to have a Facebook account, but that's because I wouldn't expect someone with that tattoo to exist. DeShawn is truly one of God's own prototypes: too weird to live and too rare to die.
Still, beyond the ridiculousness of Stevenson's Facebook quote, there's a good point made here about creating controversy around LeBron James where none exists. James and Stevenson may not be the best of friends, but they haven't been on the brink of a fight on the court during this series, either. There are enough points of contention regarding LeBron's on-court performance that we don't need to add any silly storylines to the mix, too.
So, yes, let LeBron chill, at least insofar as basketball things he does should define the story rather than half-baked theories regarding cuckolding and overblown beefs. He's interesting enough as an athlete that we shouldn't have to resort to making him into a media figure better fit for supermarket gossip magazines.
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- DeShawn Stevenson