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Lakers’ LeBron James addresses Heat’s Jae Crowder spat during Game 1 of NBA Finals

LeBron James, Jae Crowder, Heat, Lakers, NBA Finals

LeBron James and Jae Crowder had some heated moments during Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals on Wednesday, but James thought nothing of it.

The 35-year-old was asked about his history with Crowder but said competing against his former teammate is no different from anybody else.

James and Crowder got tangled up underneath the basket towards the end of the first half, with Crowder slapping the ball out of James’ hands after a foul call in the blowout Lakers win over the Heat in the first game of the Finals.

The two briefly exchanged words after, though nothing ultimately came of the incident.

James does indeed have a dated history with Crowder, one of the league’s noted irritants.

The two went head-to-head when LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers met Crowder’s Boston Celtics in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals.

Crowder would then join forces with James and the Cavs at the start of the 2017-18 season, but he was traded to the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal that saw swingman Rodney Hood go to Cleveland.

The trade prompted visceral reactions from both players immediately afterwards.

Crowder alluded to LeBron being a stat-padder, while James suggested Crowder and some of the former Cavs players traded at the aforementioned deadline lacked the necessary work ethic to help the team win.

It should be interesting to see how this dynamic continues to play out over the course of the NBA Finals, particularly considering Crowder will likely be called upon to offer help on James.

LeBron and the Lakers will hope to take a 2-0 lead on Friday, while Crowder and the Heat will look to even the series despite the likely absences of Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo.