DeShawn Stevenson will forever be known as the guy who started a thing with LeBron James by calling him overrated. LeBron responded by saying he will not respond because responding would be like, and I quote, “Jay-Z saying something bad about Souljah Boy,” which was undoubtedly the best non-response LeBron ever made in his entire career.
His feud—if we could call it that—with LeBron peaked, sort of, in the 2011 NBA Finals, when the Dallas Mavericks defeated LeBron and the Miami Heat.
As the Mavs seventh-, possibly eighth-best player on its championship roster, Stevenson was a key contributor in the series, but his most significant contribution came the morning after they won the title: arriving in Dallas with a shirt that said, “Hey LeBron! How’s my Dirk taste?” (Thought you should also know that he got arrested just two days after winning the title, not because of the shirt, but because he was walking around drunk at an apartment complex in Texas.)
Stevenson is also the guy who does John Cena’s “You can’t see me” taunt when he hits a three-pointer (He is a career 34-percent shooter from beyond the arc, according to Basketball Reference). He’s also the guy who once spent a thousand dollars to have baller IDs made to feature his own quotes as well as butchered Lil’ Wayne lyrics like “The wind blow! My flat top swang!”—yeah, I don’t know either.
For all his crazy antics, questionable on-court decisions, reckless style, and over-the-top personality, Stevenson became a cult hero from his days as a Washington Wizard until he played his last NBA game in 2013.
Stevenson has moved on from the NBA (he’s still hitting 3s in BIG 3 though), and his spirit lives on through a select few and equally special, active players in the league. I see it every time someone tries, and fails, to annoy LeBron; every time someone prematurely celebrates a three-pointer; or every time someone parties too hard after winning a championship.
Let’s celebrate his legacy by naming his fellow cult heroes, the ones following in his footsteps, to the DeShawn Stevenson Mythical Team:
LeBron James has an uncanny gift for bringing out the DeShawn Stevenson in his defenders. Taking a page from Stevenson’s bible on How To Annoy LeBron James, Lance Stephenson once covered LeBron’s mouth with his palm and blew in his ear, forever immortalizing himself as one of the weirdest players to ever put on an NBA jersey.
Today, Stephenson is still the same guy who has tendencies to take ill-advised shots and unnecessarily over dribble. Stephenson recently did the unthinkable by over dribbling without even dribbling the basketball.
Stephenson just looks like he is having more fun than the rest of us losers. He gets it.
Stephenson is here for the shenanigans; Dion Waiters for his trademark Irrational Confidence.
Years removed from his days begging for LeBron to pass him the ball, Waiters is now shooting his shot in Miami, slapping his butt every now and then after a made 3, and staring down defenders to let them know what’s up. Waiters has yet to see a shot he doesn’t like, and let’s hope that day never arrives, so we can have more of this:
The wave off, the poor shot selection (game was tied with 11 seconds left, did they really need a contested 3?), and, of course, the pose. That’s the complete Dion Waiters package. When you’re feeling insecure about yourself, just watch the clip above or pull up a Dion Waiters GIF and wait for his magic to rub off on you.
Not everyone on the DeShawn Stevenson Mythical Team had to have a LeBron story to make it. Nick Young only needed to celebrate a missed three-pointer.
Like Waiters, Young is a certified gunner who will keep on shooting because why the hell not? He’s got swag, not afraid to take the big shots, meme-friendly, and super entertaining to watch. I just can’t wait to see what Swaggy P has in store for us at the Warriors championship parade in 2018.
“JaVale is a deep thinker” is an actual quote from Klay Thompson and I will never forget it. It made him even more endearing after he became a Twitter war hero, thanks to the bullying of Shaquille O’Neal. Well, guess what Shaq, he’s an NBA champion now, to which Shaq might respond with, “Yeah, but he’s still a bum ass,” to which I will no longer respond to because Shaq is a 7-foot, 300-pound bulldozer while I’m essentially a mascot for our barangay liga’s mosquito division.
JaVale is a cult hero because that’s what happens when you’re constantly being ridiculed for who you are, and then you rise above the noise to shut the haters up. He’s been awesome as a Warrior, but sometimes I miss old JaVale.
JR Smith is the quintessential “No…no…yes!” player. Every off-balanced jumper he takes seems off, but he somehow finds a way to put it in, in true DeShawn Stevenson fashion. He had a shining moment after winning the NBA title in 2015, when he shunned the fun, shoelace-untying, “open shots are boring” JR Smith to become Earl, a perfect, world champion son who just wanted to make his parents proud.
Then he partied for, like, a week without a shirt on (Your move, Swaggy P). Thank God he did, otherwise, we would’ve lost a key and possibly the wackiest member of this Mythical Team. Please never change, JR Smith, you’re so fun to watch and you seem to be a cool dude who puts his friends above all else. And that includes playing defense.
Photos from Getty Images