Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo was asked about comments LeBron James made before last night's game about his team's effort under Avery Johnson. Carlesimo didn't necessarily accept the Heat star's premise that the Nets didn't play hard enough under Johnson. But Carlesimo chose the wise, diplomatic path.
"I'm certainly not going to disagree with LeBron before we play him," Carlesimo said.
He knew enough not to tick off James. Reggie Evans did not.
James admitted he was ticked, bothered, perturbed and motivated by Evans, who, before last's night game, called the Heat's championship last season "tainted" because it came in a lockout year. One of the last things anyone should ever — ever — do is tick, bother, perturb or motivate James, who was a major catalyst with 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in Miami's 105-85 drubbing of the Nets.
"It did," James said when asked if Evans' comment provided motivation. "No one knows what it takes unless you've done it. You can't sit here and judge or talk about a team winning a championship unless you've been through it and actually done it."
James insisted he didn't want to give Evans press — and then he gave him press. Evans was not around to thank him for all the attention. He bolted rather quickly after the game and did not respond to James.
Later, Evans responded to hecklers in a series of tweets. One read: "I cannot stop laughing at these people on my timeline. They do not give up. Love it."
James delivered his reply on the court.
"Let my game do the talking. We understand what we've been through these three years that we've been together," James said. "You just can't come out and say something like that against a champion."
Then James, having already put the Nets under his commercially-endorsed shoe heel, stomped for emphasis.
"Hold on. Let me look at Reggie Evans numbers real quick: He had no offensive rebounds so we did our number on him and we got the win," said James, who called out the Nets earlier in the day for basically throwing ex-coach Avery Johnson under the bus by not playing hard for him.
And that was the point Carlesimo disputed — diplomatically, of course. Don't pull on Superman's cap, don't spit into the wind and never tick off The King.
Evans' slight motivates James, Heat
New York Post | Jan 31