Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder spent the final moments of his team’s series victory against the Los Angeles Lakers in the locker room after getting ejected for taunting LeBron James with a salsa dance.
He doesn’t have any regrets about that.
Crowder was dancing with himself under in the paint with just 30 seconds left, sprinting to the locker room after being tossed by the ref. The move seemed to be poking fun at a Mountain Dew commercial James debuted.
Crowder had all the reason in the world to celebrate. After all, when the Lakers went up 2-1 in the series during a fairly dominant Game 3, James and Co. clowned on Crowder, something he did not forget.
The 30-year-old former teammate of James revealed that was a big part of his motivation behind the move while on ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby on Tuesday.
“They tried to clown us during Game 3. I don’t know if ya’ll saw that. I told myself once we get this thing done, I got a few moves in my bag for them. That’s what I was thinking. I couldn’t dance Game 3, I had to wait till Game 6 when we got the job done a little bit.”
Crowder also took some shots at James on social media following the series, writing, “AINT NO FUN WHEN THE RABBIT GOT THE GUN.!! 12 MORE TO GO.!! BIG 99. The message was in reference to an old tweet from James.
Crowder Says LeBron James ‘Best Player in the NBA’
Crowder and James have had their battles over the years, including in last year’s NBA Finals. While it can sometimes get testy, Crowder has some massive respect for James and his legacy.
“I’m up for the challenge,” Crowder said with a laugh. “I don’t know what else to say. I want to guard the best player and give my team a chance to win. I do a good job of making it tough. I don’t stop anybody. It’s tough to stop guys in this league with the way we score. You want to make it as tough as possible on guys and be an A-hole sometimes. I’m able to do that here and there.
“Obviously, LeBron is a great player — he’s the greatest player in our league right now. I wanted to get him frustrated a little bit and hopefully things would go our way. I think that’s what happened.”
Despite an ankle that wasn’t 100%, James averaged 23.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.0 assists in the series against the Suns.
LeBron James Was Eager for Some Time Off
While Crowder and the Suns have punched their ticket to the Western Conference Finals with a sweep of the Nuggets, James and the Lakers are at home, enjoying some rest after a historically short offseason.
James, who will turn 37 next season, is excited for the time off, especially after having to rehab his ankle relentlessly in an effort to get back.
“It’s going to work wonders for me, obviously,” James said getting some rest. “During the season I don’t even talk about rest, I don’t even like to put my mind and frame into that, it makes me weak. But in the offseason, I get an opportunity to rest. We’ve got like three months to recalibrate, get my ankle back to 100% where it was before that Atlanta game, and that’s the most important thing for me.
“Everything else feels extremely well. My ankle was the only thing that was kind of bothering me… in the later stage of the season, and never fully got back to where it was before the injury,” James continued. “But I’m happy I was able to go out there and at least try to help our team win.”