It was like taking candy from a baby. The defending NBA champions Miami HEAT easily defeated the Indiana Pacers 99-76 in game 7 of the Eastern Conference series Monday night to advance to the NBA Finals against the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs.
With the HEAT comfortably in the lead by double digits late in the 4th quarter, Indiana coach Frank Vogel emptied his bench. Reserve forward Jeff Pendergraph -- who played just 3 minutes in the entire series -- wanted to make the most of his 2 minutes in the spotlight.
The 6 ft 9 in. Pendergraph set a hard screen on 6' 2" Heat guard Norris Cole forcing Cole to fight through the screen. Pendergraph shoved Cole who responded by assuming a boxer's stance. Both players were ejected.
Things really got interesting when Pendergraph returned to the Pacers bench. The reserve bench player got into a jawing match with rapper Flo Rida's manager who had an expensive courtside seat.
After threatening to see Pendergraph after the game, Flo Rida's manager was politely escorted from the arena by Miami police officers.
The trash talking incident was explained in further detail by TNT's spiffy sideline reporter Craig Sager.
"It actually was Flo Rida's manager who was ejected," Sager said. "He and Pendergraph had been going back and forth. He got to be such a distraction that the officials came over and tried to eject him. He wanted to stay put. However, Flo Rida said, 'You're my manager, but you've got to get out of here now.'"
Sager was only half right. Flo Rida's obscene gold and diamond encrusted Jesus piece was more of a distraction than his manager was!
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday at American Airlines Arena in Miami.
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