Maybe LeBron James was merely borrowing from the school of self-motivation that served Michael Jordan and Bill Belichick so well in taking issue with a seemingly mundane statement. Then again, maybe Pacers coach Frank Vogel really was trying to get under the Heat's skin and motivate his own team when he said "They're the next team that's in our way, and that's how we're approaching it."

As pre-game trash talking goes, it's not exactly Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson questioning Terry Bradshaw's ability to spell the word "cat" before Super Bowl XIII. And according to, Vogel said Monday that he's got respect for LeBron and the Heat. Either way, the Eastern Conference finals, which start Wednesday in Miami, now have a juicy subplot. But a more basic, pressing question remains: Do the Pacers stand a chance?

Say what?

Factual statement or fighting words? Frank Vogel sure got the Heat's attention.


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