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DeShawn Stevenson became one of my favorite players in the league this season. Bill Simmons always talks about how some players have irrational confidence and play well beyond their skill level because of this. Well, in my mind, DeShawn Stevenson is the poster boy of the irrational swag club. Watching Stevenson do his little celebration after every three-pointer he made during the post-season was fun enough but when he started staring into the crowd after every shot and dropping his shoulder when he started walking back down the floor was mind-boggling.
Stevenson probably thinks he is a better basketball player than LeBron James – his actions and words certainly prove that – and his play in the Finals did nothing to stop Stevenson from thinking that. Stevenson actually shot 57% from beyond the arc in the Finals while James disappeared in key moments. Outplaying LeBron James in the Finals is easily Stevenson’s biggest accomplishment and it allowed him to win the race to a title between two rivals that started their feud back in LeBron’s Cleveland days.
Stevenson will hit the market this summer and though he is already 30 years old, his much improved three-point shot and solid defense will earn him a contract somewhere in the league. I’m not entirely sure Stevenson is happier about prevailing in the Finals or finally beating LeBron in a series but there’s one thing that he’s allowed to say that LeBron can’t: DeShawn Stevenson is an NBA Champion.