When LeBron James' Miami Heat gave a 105-85 beat down to the Brooklyn Nets, there was some satisfaction for LeBron after Reggie Evans said some words about the defending champions. Evans made some rather unflattering statements to the New York Daily News about the Heat and their championship saying it may not have been as valid as an NBA championship won during a full season compared to the lockout season that happened last year. He also took a direct shot at Lebron saying he wasn't different from his teammates:
“It doesn’t prove nothing...that was a lockout season.”
“Our team is defending the Miami Heat. If our team has to defend one person, LeBron isn’t going to score nothing. . . . LeBron is no different from Joe Johnson or Andray Blatche. No different,”
It seems that Evans' ill-timed jabs before the game didn't help the Nets any, in fact it motivated James to lead the domination in that game. James chipped in 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in 34 minutes. LeBron didn't end the embarrassment end there, as he took some jabs at the Nets and specifically, Reggie Evans.
After the game when asked about Evans, James went to the stat sheet and stated he had 0 offensive rebounds and the Heat did their number on him. Either way you view Evans' comments, there's no denying he lit a fire in James that probably wasn't gong to be there for the game.
As a San Antonio Spurs fan, you can't remember the last time a Spurs player called out an opponent the way Evans did and with good reason. Spurs legend Bruce Bowen commented on the matter on why he never went after an opponent since he was known to guard the best player in any position on the opposing team:
1 of the best things Pop ever said to me concerning Pre-Game interviews, don't awaken a hibernating bear! Mr. Evans meet Lebron James! (@Bowen12)
While the Spurs were seen as a tough opponent, they did and still do their business low on words and more on their action. Gregg Popovich instilling that characteristic on the team may make them "boring", but it's garnered four NBA titles and the most respected cornerstone in Tim Duncan and that's made every other player follow his lead.
The team plays hard nosed defense and prides itself in it, but there's no fist pumping or chest pounding after a successful play on the court. They know that they need every advantage they get, especially when great players seem to have great nights anyway. They don't want to give an opponent motivation into having a dominating game over a good game.
Maybe former Spurs assistant and now Brooklyn Nets head coach P.J. Carlesimo can try to imprint the Spurs' culture on the Nets, especially if they don't want to light a fire in another player like they did with the Most Valuable Player in the league.
Besides, Evans' comment hits close to home for Spurs fans. Recall former NBA coach Phil Jackson made a similar comment regarding the Spurs' 1999 title earned during that lockout-shortened season. Something that still stings Spurs fans until today.