“I Despised”: LeBron James-Dwyane Wade’s Deadly Partnership Resulted in the Undoing, Claims Pacers Star

Published 12/25/2022, 3:00 PM EST

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The early 2010s witnessed the formation of one of the greatest teams assembled in NBA history. Many talented teams fell short of success due to the dominance of the LeBron James and Dwyane Wade-led Miami Heat. Among many such teams, Indiana Pacers suffered the most due to their standing in the Eastern Conference along with the Heat. The deadly partnership of James and Wade cost the Pacers multiple Finals berths.

Reflecting on his team’s shortcomings, Indiana Pacers guard AJ Price harped on the Heat’s dominance in his recent appearance on the Culture Shock Podcast (CSP). Moreover, he also reflected on his relationship with LeBron James over the years. 

Former Indiana Pacers guard makes a candid confession about LeBron James

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AJ Price, a former guard of the Indiana Pacers, recently reflected on the rivalry between the Pacers and the Heat. In the Culture Shock Podcast, Price harped on the Pacers’ culture and their successes. However, he also confessed that the Pacers would have made multiple trips to the Finals if it weren’t for the Miami Heat.

Consequently, it is no surprise that Price was not a fan of LeBron James and his squad. In one of the podcast segments, talking about his relationship with King James, Price made a startling confession. He said, “We were like rivals, I was on the Pacers and he was on the Heat, and we couldn’t get past them for many years, so I kind of despised them.” 

Incidentally, the former UConn star also played alongside James in the final years of his career. From his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015, Price reflected on James’s team-oriented personality. He also highlighted the King’s winning mentality and sang high praise of the 4x NBA champion. 

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The Pacers and Heat rivalry spanned through the first half of the 2010s. Unsurprisingly, the star-studded rivalry produced some of the most memorable moments of the time and also gave birth to new stars.

Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers rivalry

The Miami Heat dominated the Eastern Conference in the early 2010s on the back of the historic trio of James, Wade, and Chris Bosh. They made it to four straight NBA Finals and won 2x NBA championships in the process. However, their historic success came at the expense of numerous talented teams. However, the ones that suffered the most were probably the Indiana Pacers.

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The Pacers and the Heat faced off in the NBA playoffs for three straight seasons; 2012, 2013, and 2014. All three matchups resulted in Indiana losing in a hard-fought battle. In the 2012 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, the Pacers lost the series in six games to the Heat (4-2).

In 2013, the Pacers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. But they fell short of making it to the Finals when they lost to the King’s squad in a thriller seven-game series (4-3). In their last matchup in 2014, the Pacers suffered a similar outcome in a 4-2 loss against the Heat.

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Apart from the memorable highlights, the Pacers-Heat rivalry also gave birth to stars like Paul George and Myles Turner.

 

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K Shrijith

399 articles

K Shrijith is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his BBA degree, Shrijith has a keen interest in the world of finance. In fact, he has past experience in equity research and writing research reports on the subject of finance.

Edited By: Satagni Sikder

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