Tale of the Tape: Mind Games- Ear Blowing vs Untying Shoelaces
Mind Games: a series of deliberate actions or responses planned for psychological effect on another, typically for amusement or competitive advantage.
Sports are 90% mental. Athletes will attempt to get into their opponent’s head in various ways, whether that’s just playing well or using their imagination to get away with something different.
Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was thinking outside the box when he decided to blow into LeBron James ear during the game 5 win over the Heat.
Earlier in the season, New York Knicks J.R Smith was attempting to play some mind games when he decided to untie the shoelaces of Dallas Maverick’s Shawn Marion. Might I add, there were multiple times in the season Smith untied his opponent’s shoelaces.
Who played the better mind game?
Stephenson has no fear guarding the best player in the NBA but he had to think of another way to stop James from dominating. LeBron sat out most of the game due to foul trouble, not due to an ear injury. Pacers got the win, 93-90.
||The Mental Advantage
Zero advantages, Marion bent down, tied his shoelaces back up and continued to play. This tactic didn't go unnoticed but mentally Marion wasn't distracted.
Stephenson was not fined for his ear blowing tactic, instead he is just being criticized by the entire sports media world.
Smith was fined $50,000 for his recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct of untying shoelaces. Smith had an abysmal season and had no room for negative attention. He's been fined at least $910,000 in his career.
Ear blowing originates in the early teenage stages, whether a kid thinks they're flirting with their crush or joking around with their friend.
||The Maturity Level
Untying shoelaces started for children between the ages of 5 and 7. Younger than that, children wear velcro straps on their shoes.
Smith is 28 years old.
The winner is