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Former Suns guard Archie Goodwin recounts trash talk from teammate that caused LeBron to go off

Nov 17, 2023, 7:09 PM

LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Phoenix Suns at American Airli...

LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Phoenix Suns at American Airlines Arena on November 25, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

In an Instagram live, former Phoenix Suns guard Archie Goodwin recounted the time then-teammate Dionte Christmas talked trash to LeBron James and it came back to cost the Suns.

Goodwin didn’t identify the teammate but Dionte Christmas, who was with Phoenix during the 2013-14 season, later quote-tweeted a video (explicit language warning) of Goodwin’s story and wrote on X; “That teammate was me, almost lost my job that day.”

The Suns traveled to Miami to play the Heat in November 2013. The score was tied at 62 with 6:47 left in the third quarter before Miami went on to win 107-92.

In the second half, James caught a pass on the right wing, near the Suns’ bench, and while the MVP was being contested by P.J. Tucker, Christmas chirped at James from the bench.

“‘Yo, we livin with that (expletive),'” Christmas said according to Goodwin. “‘Shoot that broke (expletive) (expletive). We livin with it.'”

James then passed the ball and turned to Christmas to ask him what he said. One of Phoenix’s assistant coaches then looked at Christmas and told him to leave James alone.

“So, my assistant coach is cussing (Christmas) the (expletive) out, ‘Don’t (expletive) wake the bear up,'” Goodwin said. “He ain’t been doin’ nothin’ all game. It was third quarter, so he had been chilling. We was only down four or five. He only had six points. No (expletive), he only had six points. He ended the game with 38. He ended the game with 38. … He went nuts, and we end up losing by 20.”

James had more than six points at the time (James had seven points in the first quarter), and actually finished with 35 points.

But James did have 23 points in the second half while shooting six-for-seven from the field. And Channing Frye, who played with the Suns from 2009-14, later confirmed the story was true.

In 31 games for the Suns, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes.

Goodwin played for the Suns from 2013-16. In 150 games with the Suns, Goodwin averaged 6.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.5 minutes.

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