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News » Stevenson doesn't feel welcome in Cleveland

Stevenson doesn't feel welcome in Cleveland

Stevenson doesn't feel welcome in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (AP) - Walking through a mall, DeShawn Stevenson learned quickly he's made more than LeBron James mad.

The whole city dislikes him.

Stevenson has been branded Public Enemy No. 1 in Cleveland for calling James "overrated" and then committing a flagrant foul against the Cavaliers' star in Game 4 on Sunday. He also was fined $25,000 by the NBA for making a throat-slashing gesture in the first quarter of Cleveland's 100-97 win, which gave the Cavs a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

On Monday, Stevenson took a walk with a few teammates in a mall near the team's hotel and says he was approached by Cavaliers fans ready to rumble.

"About five people wanted to fight me," he said. "Lucky I had (teammates). If I went to the mall by myself I probably would have got jumped."

So what kind of trash talk did he hear?

"What didn't they say?" said Stevenson, who also has riled up Cleveland fans with his talk and tough play.

The Stevenson-James feud is one of the many subplots in this series - the third straight year the Cavs and Wizards have met. In addition to Stevenson's comments and his hard foul, Gilbert Arenas angered Cavs fans by saying in his blog, "I think everyone wants to play Cleveland" in the first round.

Also, center Brendan Haywood was ejected for a two-handed shove on James and rappers Jay-Z (pro James) and Soulja Boy (new Wizards fan) have been dragged into this strange, soap opera-like series.

Stevenson didn't take long to add to his notorious reputation in Game 5. He was called for a technical foul after Wizards forward Darius Songaila gave James a forearm to the face on a baseline drive in the first quarter. Songaila and Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao were also assessed Ts.

Stevenson said Cleveland fans gave him an earful on his shopping stroll.

"They talked about Jay-Z all that stuff," he said. "About how I fouled LeBron - I didn't do it on purpose. It was kind of tough, but I don't care."

After the Wizards arrived from Washington, it wasn't as if Stevenson tried to avoid being seen in Cleveland. He wore a No. 7 Michael Vick jersey, which surely turned a head or two.

Stevenson said his wardrobe choice was not done intentionally to make Cleveland fans hate him more.

"If I did," he said. "I would have had a Soulja Boy shirt on instead."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 30, 2008


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