GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP)—Though he has not spoken to anyone from the Indiana Pacers, Lance Stephenson(notes) is well aware of Larry Bird’s disappointment with his arrest.
Stephenson says he heard about Bird’s strongly worded statement that was critical of his actions and plans to speak to the Pacers president.
“I’m just going to try to stay focused,” Stephenson said Tuesday at the New York Knicks’ training facility, where he joined other rookies getting photographed for their Panini trading cards. “I’m going to talk to him, see how he feels about it and I’m going to move forward from it.”
Stephenson, 19, was arrested Sunday in New York on assault, menacing and harassment charges. Prosecutors said the Pacers’ draft pick pushed his girlfriend down a flight of stairs, then grabbed her and hit her head on the bottom step.
On Monday, Bird called the arrest “very disappointing to the Pacers franchise and to me personally.”
Bird added that the Pacers were still gathering facts but “regardless of the outcome of the investigation, Lance should not have put himself in the position he was in early Sunday morning. We have consistently emphasized to our players the importance of not putting themselves in situations where bad things can happen.
“Once all the facts are known we will deal appropriately with Lance so that he, the team and the entire Pacers community understands that this message cannot be ignored.”
Indiana drafted Stephenson with the No. 40 pick. The league is monitoring the situation.