NEW YORK -- Nets forward Reggie Evans must have been feeling a little frisky on Wednesday morning.
During Brooklyn’s shootaround, Evans told the New York Daily News that LeBron James is no different than Andre Blatche and Joe Johnson.
“Our team is defending the Miami Heat,” Evans said. “If our team has to defend one person, LeBron isn’t going to score nothing… LeBron is no different from Joe Johnson or Andray Blatche. No different.”
The Nets entered Wednesday’s game winners of 13 of their past 17 games with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo at the helm.
Considering the recent success of the Nets and it being James’ first game at Barclays Center, Jay-Z James already was motivated. Evans’ remarks were akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.
James was alive with energy during the morning shootaround and then bounced into the arena for pregame screaming rap lyrics at the top of his lungs.
“He here! He here, God [expletive]!” James shouted in the third person as he walked past a herd of reporters and into the cramped visiting locker room.
Here are the rest of Evans’ pregame musings on James:
“People need help [on defense]. Some people don’t need help. Everybody has to be double-teamed, it doesn’t matter who you are. You just have to stop LeBron in transition. He’s quick in transition. If you look at Joe Johnson — Joe Johnson has two or three people trying to stop him. Whoever is guarding him.”
But Evans didn’t just downplay James’ ability. He also seemed to question the legitimacy of the Heat’s championship last season when asked what he it would mean to beat the NBA’s defending champion.
“It doesn’t prove nothing,” Evans said. “That was a lockout season.”
James was asked about Evans’ remarks during the Heat’s shootaround.
“Who said it?” James asked. “Reggie Evans,” answered a reporter. “Right. Exactly,’ James replied.
James is a huge fan of the NFL. He sometimes refers to himself as a football player who plays basketball. So, how does he feel about having to miss the Super Bowl while flying back to Miami from Toronto?
“It’s disgusting,” he said.
The Heat plays the Raptors at Air Canada Centre at 2 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. The team will fly back to Miami immediately after the game.
James is so upset about missing the live broadcast of the game that he said he doesn’t even plan on recording the game so he can watch it later.
“What’s the point?” he said. “I’ll already know what happened.”
The Super Bowl begins at 6:30 p.m. Considering the Heat must clear customs in Toronto, there’s really no chance of the team plane making it back to Miami on time for the end of the game. It’s a 3 1/2-hour flight and when the players finally make it back to their homes, they’ll need to rest. The Heat plays the Bobcats on Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat’s team plane is not equipped with Wi-Fi, so even following the game online is out of the question.
Shane Battier has called missing the Super Bowl “un-American.”
If James had his way, he would stay in Toronto to watch the Super Bowl at the cost of arriving in Miami just in time for Monday’s game.
And if the Cowboys were playing in the Super Bowl, James said there would be no question about his plans. He would stay in Toronto overnight.
• Heat forward Chris Andersen signed his second 10-day contract Wednesday. … Forward Jarvis Varnado signed with the Heat for the remainder of the season.