Former Phoenix Suns forward Deonte Christmas remembers lighting the fire under LeBron James in a regular-season game when James was a member of the Miami Heat alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Archie Goodwin talks about the time LeBron walked out after the Suns stabbed the bear 🔥
(via this @motionpod/IG) pic.twitter.com/zKWWiI223Q
– LeBron History 🏀 (@bronhistory) November 15, 2023
My teammate almost lost my job that day 😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/v2n9RpftkT
-Deonte Christmas (@Dchristmas22) November 15, 2023
Former Suns guard Archie Goodwin told the story.
“This was when he was with the Heat,” Godwin said. “One of my teammates — I won’t say his name. LeBron catches the ball on the wing, on the right wing. He’s on our bench. So, I’m on the bench, and my teammate is on the bench. So, LeBron catches the ball, and he blocks P.J. Tucker. And one of my teammates yelled, ‘Yes, we live with this.’ The shootout that broke the a—s—. We live with it. And so, LeBron passed the ball. He looked at him again. He said, ‘What are you saying?’ One of our coaches at the time ‘He looked at my teammate and said, ‘Oh, shut up.’ Leave him alone.’ So, my assistant coach was cursing at him, saying, ‘Don’t wake the bear.’ He was doing nothing the whole game. It was the third quarter, so he was cold. We were only down by four or five. And he only had six points. No bullseye, he had “Just six points. He finished with 38. He finished with 38. He went crazy, and we ended up losing by 20.”
Channing Frye later confirmed that Goodwin’s story was true.
Based on what Goodwin remembers of the game, the contest in question appears to have taken place on November 25, 2013.
The Heat went on to beat the Suns in that game by 15 points, 107-92. Contrary to what Godwin said, James scored 35 points, not 38. He also shot 11 of 14 from the field and 11 of 11 from the free throw line to give the Heat their 11th win of the 2013-14 regular season. season.
The only other Miami player to score more than 20 points in the team’s win over the Suns was Wade. The shooting guard had 21 points, six rebounds and 12 assists in 33 minutes of playing time for the Heat.
Bosh – arguably the third best player on the team – had a memorable performance. He finished with just seven points and four rebounds while shooting 2-of-9 from the field.
As for Phoenix, it was Frye — who later became James’ teammate on the Cleveland Cavaliers — who led the Suns in scoring. In 32 minutes of play, he scored 16 points and knocked down four three-pointers.
But Frye was just one of six Suns players to reach double figures in scoring. Tucker scored 10 points, while Goran Dragic scored 14 points. Gerald Green scored 12 points.
Additionally, Markieff Morris and his twin brother Marcus scored 12 and 13 points off the bench, respectively.
The Heat finished the 2013-14 regular season with a 54-28 record, the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. Miami then went on to reach the 2014 NBA Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs in five games.
It’s great to see Christmas, Frye and Goodwin can look back on a rather embarrassing moment involving their former team and laugh about it.