Wait a second—this guy should be hobbled and on crutches, not dropping a near triple-double on the Pacers in a Heat win on Wednesday night.
Such is the sentiment of a raw Pacers squad that saw the Heat storm back from a 15-point deficit to take the win in Miami.
Winderman noted that the Pacers "weren't buying James being physically off," following with West's assertion, "You guys buy into the hype of him being hurt and all that other stuff. We don't believe that."
Paul George was much more interested in what his team did wrong, saying, "It's frustrating, just period." The 23-year-old continued, "A loss is frustrating, especially when you lose like this and you're in control the whole game and you let it slip away, regardless of who’s the opponent."
What we have here is further evidence that the Pacers and Heat headline what might be the best budding rivalry in sports. Sadly, we have to wait until March 26 to get another round of this heavyweight bout.
For those curious, James did have the kind of game that healthy men would be proud to have had, scoring 24 points, grabbing nine boards and dishing seven assists in the 97-94 win.
If that weren't enough, he peppered in three steals for good measure.
Still, via Winderman, James was hobbled just a bit during the game. The Heat star stated that the level of pain in his ankle afterward was "about a seven, a little sore right now. I just couldn't see myself sitting out."
Now we might presume West would sing a different tune after he had some time to sleep it off, because a lot of wild allegations are proclaimed right after an emotional game.
Even if West believed James was fibbing, we certainly do not.
James' self-assessment of his injury was about a seven on the pain scale. When you are a man with his basketball prowess, dropping that kind of output, while amazing, is still well within the realm of possibility.
He's a seasoned veteran who is rarely injured and hardly needs to add absurd gamesmanship to his already stocked arsenal of weapons.
West might be puckered from all those sour grapes, and James might be icing his ankle, but we are all circling each and every game these two teams play the rest of the season.
Hit me up on Twitter:
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!