Jeff Green and Lance Stephenson got into it with one another during Sunday night’s Game 4 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers. Stephenson tried to force a jump ball late in the game, but instead of getting a tie up, he and Green got, well, tied up and went to the floor. After some confusion, a foul was assessed to Stephenson, Green hit one of two free throws, and the Cavaliers came out on top to even the series.
It was a truly bizarre moment, one that was compounded by the fact that Stephenson achieved his lifelong goal of goading LeBron James into a technical earlier in the quarter, along with the fact that no one knew for a few minutes if there would be a jump ball or if a foul was being called on Green. You also might not be surprised to learn that after the game, Green seemed to be a little heated about how things went down.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Green said the moment was “nothing” and stressed that the reason he reacted the way he did in that moment was because “I’m not going to allow him to do what he did.” Green then made it clear that he knows neither guy are going to fight, but if they were, there’s a place for that outside the arena.
“He’s not going to fight,” Green said, per ESPN. “I’m not going to fight. It’s not worth it. I mean, if we wanted to fight, there’s a big-ass parking lot out there and we can fight. But at the end of the day, my job is to keep my composure, go to the free throw line, knock one down and then move on. It’s not worth it to give that extra energy to him.”
Green has never been one to get into a fight with opponents, while Stephenson has always been more of an instigator on the floor than anything. Still, tensions appear to be high between the two squads, which is usually when Stephenson is most prone to ramping up his prodding of opponents. It’ll certainly be something to watch closely as the series heads back to Cleveland for Game 5.