Apparently the new thing in the NBA is to announce your team does not have a rivalry with another team or maybe that’s just happening to the Indiana Pacers. For the second time this season, an opposing player has announced that their team has no rivalry with the Pacers, and for the second time this season, the Pacers have made them eat their words.
The latest victim was Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Lebron informed reporters about an hour before tip off that the Heat and Pacers did not have a rivalry, and he actually believes there are no rivalries in the NBA anymore.
But as peasants could tell you, the King is not always right.
What Lebron is forgetting is the fans are the ones who help make the rivalries and there is no doubt bad blood between Heat and Pacers fans exist. The same can be said — possibly 10-fold — for the Chicago Bulls and Pacers fans, but even Derrick Rose said the rivalry didn’t exist.
While those teams are busy discussing whether or not there is an actually rivalry between their respective teams and the Pacers, the Pacers are clearly focused on beating, not just every team in the league, but their rivals especially.
It’s safe to say the Pacers have three main rivals: Heat, Bulls and New York Knicks. So far this season, the Pacers have gone 3-1 against those teams, including last night’s 90-84 victory over the Heat.
So while Lebron and the Heat appear to only be focused on winning a third championship, the Pacers are focused on dethroning the King and his court. Then they will worry about their Western Conference foe.
This was only game one of what is a guaranteed eight meetings between these two teams this year and by the end Lebron may have no choice but to acknowledge the rivalry between the teams.