WATCH: LeBron James and Juwan Howard rip teammates at halftime
LeBron James and the Miami Heat were down four points at halftime, but by the way LeBron was ripping into his teammates you would have thought they were down 20. James was shown being very animated during a profanity-laced motivational speech right before the start of the second half. TNT had to have blur out James cursing several times as he was trying to motivate his teammates. LeBron then promptly ripped off 16 points during the third quarter in which the Heat outscored the Pacers 30-13.
James felt the team was playing off its talent and had no urgency.
“I just got in them and let them know that we can’t just play by talent, we’ve got to go out and play with a sense of urgency, both offensively and defensively and my guys responded,” James explained.
“I just didn’t think were playing Miami Heat basketball in the first half,” James said. “What kept us in the game in the first half was our talent. That’s not what we’re about. We didn’t play with a sense of urgency and we were only down four and that wasn’t a good sign.”
According to Udonis Haslem, long-time veteran Juwan Howard wasn’t happy with how the team was playing and provided the first passionate half-time speech that LeBron would later echo in a more demonstrative manner.
“Juwan’s voice in our locker room on the floor is as big as anyone,” James said. “As big as [Spoesltra], as big as mine, [Udonis Haslem, Dwyane Wade]. That’s why we brought him back because he’s an instrumental part of our team.”
Haslem added: ”He’s here for a reason. He gives maximum effort every day in practice. And when he has the opportunity to lead verbally, he leads verbally.”
According to Haslem, Howard’s version of “leading verbally” included a passionate address in which he “threw a couple things around in the locker room.”
“It all started with Juwan Howard,” Haslem recalled. “He pretty much started getting into us at halftime. Coach didn’t really have to say much. Then, LeBron just took over and echoed what Juwan said. We weren’t playing with enough energy and effort, we were looking around kind of expecting plays to be made without going out and making them. In the second half, we talked about going out and making plays and taking over on both ends of the floor.”
Check it out: