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Thread: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

  1. #1
    '12 PD Sunshiner awardee Kemo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Bird still lending advice to Stephenson
    http://blogs.pacers.com/bird-still-l...to-stephenson/




    Larry Bird no longer works for the Pacers, but he still makes his presence felt occasionally.

    Bird and Lance Stephenson, whom Bird drafted in the second round in 2010 after Stephenson’s freshman season at Cincinnati, communicate with one another a few times per month.

    “Sometimes I hit him and sometimes he hits me,” Stephenson said.

    Bird’s message?

    “Keep playing hard, do the little things and let the game come to you, things like that,” Stephenson said. “He lets me know what to do on the floor and how to make the game easier for me.”

    Bird took a chance on Stephenson, trading up to take him with the 40th overall pick. Stephenson had been a legendary high school player in New York City and a high school All-American, but wasn’t widely viewed as NBA material as a college freshman. Stephenson averaged 12.3 points at Cincinnati, where he was the Big East’s Rookie of the Year, but played an undisciplined game. He appeared in just 12 games as a rookie and 42 last season, but has blossomed as a starter in the absence of Danny Granger.

    He entered Wednesday’s game against Washington averaging 7.7 points, but had scored in double figures in the previous five. He also led the team in three-point shooting (.390) and had a respectable assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6 to 1.1).

    “He’s like a father figure to me,” Stephenson said of Bird. “He’s helped me out throughout my (NBA) career. He’s a great guy.”
    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    Plumlee reminds me of a young Dale Davis. Good rebounding and he contests shots well on defense and his offensive game is very raw just like DD's was coming out of college.
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  3. #2
    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    It's great to hear Larry helping out Lance.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    I'm not so sure Lance would be where he is now if it wasn't for Bird believing in him since day one.

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  6. #4
    future dragon trainer Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Great to hear. Glad he has someone to balance out his real father's influence.

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    Chairman of the Boards 90'sNBARocked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Can Bird also "help out" Roy Hibbert and Gerald Green ?
    Sittin on top of the world!

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by Doddage View Post
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    I'm not so sure Lance would be where he is now if it wasn't for Bird believing in him since day one.
    Oh there's no doubt about it, he absolutely would not. He went from "I think I'll be an All Star my first season" (pre-draft) to probably being the most unselfish player on the entire team. He took his lumps last year when he knew he should have been playing more and given more of a role than "stand in the corner and don't screw up," but he took it on the chin. They asked him to work on setting up his teammates and he focused on that, and continues to focus on in. He fixed his jump shot, and is among our most reliable shooters. He's been a model citizen the past couple years. That type of development does not happen without a mentor.

    As someone who has believed in Bird's belief in Lance Stephenson from day 1, I hope some of you decide to give Miles Plumlee a chance,too. He doesn't have the same upside, but he's definitely an NBA player.

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  12. #7

    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    Great to hear. Glad he has someone to balance out his real father's influence.
    Wow, have you even met the guy? Great person, and father. Keeps Lance grounded. I can't imagine anyone who has met Lance Sr. would say anything but good things.
    Last edited by LetsTalkPacers84; 01-03-2013 at 08:16 PM.
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Glad to see Bird is still mentoring him.

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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    This is great to hear. I wish Bird was still running the team.

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  17. #10
    Member Sparhawk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Jordan must be jealous.
    Lance + Starting SG = Awesome

    Now really free Lance!

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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    Great to hear. Glad he has someone to balance out his real father's influence.
    huh? I'm pretty sure any issues Lance has had has been brought on by himself. I mean heck his parents followed him to Indy to try and keep him in line didn't they? I'd say he's had several positive male influences surrounding him, his biological dad included and it's a real reason he hasn't burnt out of the league.

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  20. #12
    future dragon trainer Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    huh? I'm pretty sure any issues Lance has had has been brought on by himself. I mean heck his parents followed him to Indy to try and keep him in line didn't they? I'd say he's had several positive male influences surrounding him, his biological dad included and it's a real reason he hasn't burnt out of the league.
    From everything I understand his dad is also a big reason why he had(?) such a big head in the first place. I didn't mean to make it sound like his dad was a crap father or anything, I have no clue about that and honestly given the circumstances for a lot of kids like Lance his dad just being around says a lot of positive things about him, but he didn't do anything to help keep him grounded in reality.

    I see it as his dad hyping him up, giving him confidence and Bird telling him how to be a pro and to keep his feet on the ground (and giving him confidence in a different sort of way).

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  22. #13

    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    I think Larry sees some of himself in Lance. Came from nowhere, grew up poor, and getting into trouble when he was younger. Yup, that describes a lot of past NBA players.

    But Larry saw himself in Lance's play. Larry did whatever he could do to help the team win. His play reflected that. Lance also does whatever he can do to help the team win. Watch both of their passing skills. Somewhat flashy, but hits the open player. Both are/were all around players. Scoring, rebounding, and passing.

    He saw Lance's raw talent and knew that if it could be contained he could be a very good player. Lance is beginning to prove Larry right.

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  24. #14

    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    From everything I understand his dad is also a big reason why he had(?) such a big head in the first place. I didn't mean to make it sound like his dad was a crap father or anything, I have no clue about that and honestly given the circumstances for a lot of kids like Lance his dad just being around says a lot of positive things about him, but he didn't do anything to help keep him grounded in reality.

    I see it as his dad hyping him up, giving him confidence and Bird telling him how to be a pro and to keep his feet on the ground (and giving him confidence in a different sort of way).
    Not sure how grounded Bird was keeping him, when he told the media Lance is the most talented player on the team.
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

  25. #15
    future dragon trainer Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalkPacers84 View Post
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    Not sure how grounded Bird was keeping him, when he told the media Lance is the most talented player on the team.
    That's not in conflict with anything I said.

  26. #16
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    I will say, I'd absolutely love if these two sat down for an in depth interview in say a decade. Regardless of whatever happens with Lance's career. It's the kind of opposites [but not really] attract story that the best parts of sports that we all love creates.

  27. #17
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    I'm a little moved by this, since Bird's father committed suicide when Larry was 15. That, coupled with the Shawn Williams and other disasters, and you just know that the tough faced Larry Bird has a very soft side.
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    His dad is really laid back I know him personally. with that being said he is his biggest fan and does hype him up. Wouldn't your dad?

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  31. #19

    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalkPacers84 View Post
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    Wow, have you even met the guy? Great person, and father. Keeps Lance grounded. I can't imagine anyone who has met Lance Sr. would say anything but good things.


    I thanked you for your info on Lance's father. I'd believe I never recall reading anything about Lance's father or Lance's family relationships. Good to know.

    Nice to know Bird keeps in touch with Lance as well.

    Lance has come a long way from draft night in my eyes. I went Rumplestiltskin over Bird drafting him. Then with his 2 PR problems after being drafted I wanted him gone immediately if not sooner. To be honest, I'm apt to concentrate on him when he's in the game to watch his play. Like I stated, Lance has come along way both on court and off court. Glad to see it!

    Stephenson is playing better than anyone drafted in the 2nd round b4 or after him, and better than 80% of those drafted 20 thru 30 in the 1st round.

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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    i have to say bird and lance seem like an odd couple right?
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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  35. #21
    RING THE BELL! Sandman21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by kielbeze View Post
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    His dad is really laid back I know him personally. with that being said he is his biggest fan and does hype him up. Wouldn't your dad?
    Lance's father has also said that Larry was the best person that Lance could have been around as he was coming into the league.
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    Lance's father has also said that Larry was the best person that Lance could have been around as he was coming into the league.
    I agree, I can only think of a couple places where Stephenson could have gone and would have become the player he is today. He might have gotten more playing time on other teams, but he would also not have the environment to become a more disciplined and better player. He would fall more into the Jordan Crawford area, where he has some talent, but the environment is too open and free for him to really develop into the player he can be.

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  39. #23

    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Very cool to Larry still involved.

    At the beginning of the season I was overjoyed when Lance scored 10 points in a game, now I'm disappointed if he scores less than 10. He's already hurdled any expectations I had for this season just by being a reliable rotation player. Really excited to see where his career goes.

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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalkPacers84 View Post
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    i have to say bird and lance seem like an odd couple right?
    Yeah considering Bird really was a country boy. Well known around the Terre Haute area when he played at ISU his favorite thing besides basketball was hunting in Harrison woods in Parke county or many times hanging out at the Waffle House (had his own personal seat)... Oh, he did like to chug a few beers from time to time.
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  42. #25
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    Default Re: Bird still lending advice to Stephenson

    I've been a believer in Lance since he was drafted. Larry Bird is calm and cool and has really helped Lance to grow as a person. I'm happy he's grown up a bit. I'm also happy that it has translated on the court too.

    Now let's lock him up before he gets expensive.
    Lance + Starting SG = Awesome

    Now really free Lance!

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