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Thread: Strange article about Lance....

  1. #1

    Default Strange article about Lance....

    and Ricky Davis. Over at grantland, trying to show the path from being immature to maturing.
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...id=grantland33

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    Believe in Roy! boombaby1987's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    I wouldn't say it was strange, I thought it was great. Jonathan Abrams is a great storyteller.
    @qandrews9428

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    The best part about the article is Ricky Davis drinking an appletini at lunch at PF Chang's. I hope he ordered it "Easy on the 'tini"


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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    That was definitely a nice story. Hope Lance keeps maturing and improving his game, one of the more exciting players the Pacers have had in a long time.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Here's what Pacers fans are interested in, although I recommend the whole thing if you have time:

    These are the sections about Lance

    The NBA is more image-conscious than it was when Davis was in his prime. Teams are more sensitive and players are more business-oriented. The Malice at the Palace brawl in 2004 was the turning point. That image of Ron Artest maniacally hurdling over the stands played on an endless loop in David Stern's head, an infinite reminder of the need for change.

    No franchise was more affected than the Indiana Pacers. The team methodically wiped its roster of every player involved in the fight, in a process that took years. "There's no question about it, the culture of the team is going to change and we're not done yet," then–team president Larry Bird told the Indianapolis Star in 2008. "We're going to continue to work on that through the summer.

    "If you look at some of the guys in the proposed trades, they're a little bit older, went to school for at least three years. That's part of the change, more mature kids, some experience and getting guys that we think can come in here and play right away."

    But there comes a time when every organization needs to take risks, no matter how small. "This league is not a Sunday church picnic," says Mark Boyle, the Pacers' longtime broadcaster. "Almost every team that has any success in this league takes a chance on somebody sooner or later because that's just the way it is."

    Bird took that chance when he selected Lance Stephenson in the second round of the 2010 draft. Stephenson, a Brooklyn phenom, arrived with plenty of off-court baggage — his college recruitment had grown so sordid that then–Florida International coach Isiah Thomas bowed out of the process because he was so concerned that an NCAA investigation would follow a commitment from Stephenson.

    Now Stephenson, 22, has become one of this season's biggest surprises. He's on the short list for the league's Most Improved Player award after spending two seasons watching, waiting, struggling, and occasionally stoking controversy.

    Stephenson and Davis aren't the same kind of player. Stephenson's strength is his defense and ability to push the ball upcourt. Davis, in his prime, thrived on his silky jumper and trapezelike athleticism. But they have more in common than you might think.

    Some players are trying to get in.

    "I know what it takes to win games and I still feel like I'm in shape," Davis says. "I got it. It's just a matter of getting a workout, a 10-day."

    Some players are trying to stay in.

    "I've been waiting two years for this and I figured this was my only chance," Stephenson says. "Either I was going to play good now or be out the league."
    Lance Stephenson first dunked at an AAU tournament in sixth grade. From that point forward, he dunked whenever, over whomever, wherever he could. "Once I dunked once, I knew how to dunk," he says.

    Stephenson didn't have a typical childhood. He was driven everyday and completely focused on basketball. He'd run up the Coney Island Beach steps, and challenge his father, Lance Sr.,2 to push-up competitions. "Lance just wanted to be a kid, and he had to deal with it day in and day out," says Gary Charles, who coached Stephenson in AAU. "I think sometimes he got out of character because people expected [so much of him]."

    Stephenson always played above his age. He dropped 20 points as a fourth grader against eighth graders. He challenged O.J. Mayo, nearly three years his senior, and held his own. While still in junior high, he played on an AAU team with then–high school (and future NBA) players Danny Green and Joakim Noah. Stephenson played against Sebastian Telfair, another Coney Island product, when Stephenson was 10 years old. Lance Sr. hollered across the court at Telfair's uncles, bellowing that his son was ready for the spotlight right now. Telfair, five years older than Stephenson, was already a legend in New York basketball circles.

    "[He] killed me," Stephenson says. "But that experience right there, scoring on him, I felt like I could be like him one day." In 2006, a Rucker Park announcer noticed Stephenson's penchant for thriving against older competition. He nicknamed him "Born Ready."

    "Whoever put somebody in front of me, I went after them," Stephenson says. "I felt like I was living up to the hype. I don't think it was bad hype."
    Stephenson was New York's first mega–prep star athlete whose high school career coincided with the rise of social media. He heard all the criticism and acclaim in real time. He heard it when he enrolled at Bishop Loughlin instead of nearby fabled Abraham Lincoln High School, setting off a maelstrom in Coney Island. He heard it when he abruptly transferred to Lincoln just two days after beginning at Bishop Loughlin, later citing the distance he had to travel to school. He heard it when he was suspended for five days in 2008 after a skirmish with teammate Devon McMillan. And he heard it when, later that same year, he and a teammate were arrested for groping a female student. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

    But on the court, Stephenson dominated. Lincoln captured four PSAL city titles during his reign. Telfair had won three. Stephon Marbury, another Brooklyn son and Lincoln graduate, only captured one. It seemed as if Stephenson played at Madison Square Garden as often as the Knicks. By his senior season, he'd surpassed Telfair's state scoring record of 2,785 points.

    Lincoln coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton remembers calling a play that Stephenson failed to run during a championship game.

    "Lance, we just went over the play and you still didn't run what you were supposed to run," Morton said to him.

    "Coach, when I get in a groove, when I get out there, I don't remember plays. Just give me the ball and I'm going to score," Stephenson responded.
    "That's what he used to do," Morton says. "And he scored a lot of points and we won a lot of championships."

    But colleges were skittish about recruiting Stephenson. He was an enterprising kid in high school, with his eye on the big picture. Among his questionable choices: At Lincoln, he filmed an Internet reality show and toured an Under Armour facility run by a Terrapin booster on a trip to the University of Maryland.

    Stephenson eventually landed at Cincinnati, where he averaged 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in a solid if unremarkable freshman season. He declared for the NBA draft shortly thereafter. On draft night, Stephenson gathered with family and friends in Manhattan. The Knicks, his hometown team, had back-to-back picks in the middle of the second round. With their first pick, the team chose Andy Rautins from Syracuse with the 38th selection. Then NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver began, "With the 39th pick, the New York Knicks select Lan … " The family rose to their feet, tension creeping into their throats, before Silver finished his sentence: "Landry Fields."

    "Can you imagine?" says Albert Ebanks, Stephenson's agent. "Everyone jumped up."

    But Stephenson didn't have to wait much longer after that — Bird and the Pacers grabbed him just one spot later. Ebanks says he knew that it didn't matter where Stephenson was taken, that he'd make a path for himself. "I would describe him as a three-dog, one-bone guy," Ebanks says. "You put three dogs in a ring and put a bone in the center, he's going to be the one to come back with that bone."

    In a different era, Stephenson likely would have leaped to the NBA from high school. "I probably would," Stephenson says. "But I liked that one year of school. I learned a lot."
    Larry Bird is mentoring Lance Stephenson.

    Bird resigned from his team presidency last summer, but he still texts Stephenson small notes of encouragement. "Force D-Wade left, don't let him go middle," he wrote before a recent game against the Heat. They talk at least a handful of times a month.

    "My impression is that Larry really went out of his way, really liked him as a player, thought he could be very good and that he made a conscious effort to talk to him all the time and took a specific interest in him," says Donnie Walsh, who resumed the Pacers' presidency when Bird stepped down.

    "Larry just liked him as a player," Walsh says. "He understood what he had heard about him. So I think he took the attitude when he first came here of, You're not going to play. You're going to learn how to play. You better not get into any trouble. There was a lot of attention by Larry on the off-the-court stuff. This is how you act as a pro. I think that the kid listened, for the most part. From what I heard, it was rough in the first year. But we had good guys on the team, so they got involved and helped him."

    As Davis's parents had after he was drafted, Stephenson's parents moved to his new city with him.

    "The team did its best to vet him and to look into some of the scenarios or situations that you just sort of get into, and to see them for what they are worth — which is really, in the big picture of things, mischief more than malice," Ebanks says. "They weren't taking a flyer on him. They did their homework."

    Morton says the Pacers called him before the draft and asked how Stephenson would react to acquiring money for the first time.

    "I told him it's a great question," Morton says. "Most of us, if we were born with a little money, if you give us a lot of money, it could change us. I wouldn't know what he would do with a lot of money. It would depend on his management team, I told him."

    But Stephenson's NBA journey was almost derailed before it began. In August 2010, he was accused of pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs during an argument. Bird, still in the process of redefining Indiana's identity, quickly released a statement. In it, he wrote that the Pacers had worked too hard "to permit the actions of one individual to reverse all of the positive strides that have been made as a franchise over the last couple of years or to hurt the image of the rest of the players on our team." Authorities dismissed the case in 2011. Stephenson's name hasn't appeared in the blotter since.

    On the court, his game had stalled, too. Stephenson dismissed the constructive criticism of older teammates. He was aloof and moody. Jim O'Brien coached Stephenson when he broke into the league. "I'll pass," he simply replied when asked to be interviewed about Stephenson.

    Stephenson seldom played in his first two seasons. "We've had some guys here in the '90s that were older-school guys who would have snapped him in half by now," Boyle says. "I'm surprised that he's still in one piece. He agitates his own teammates during practices. Not that it's that bad. But day after day for six months, I imagine it gets on your nerves."

    Pacers assistant Dan Burke identified Stephenson as a talented player in need of some molding. He's the reason coaches want to coach, he thought. He also recognized that Stephenson's nickname, Born Ready, was far from accurate.

    "I think he thought he had to come in and show everybody he was the man by defying the vets, defying leadership," Burke says. "It wasn't defiance in an explosive or antagonistic way. It was just him trying to be himself. He needs a little bit of that bravado to perform, and I think he just needed to find out where he crossed the line, and that was something we had to tell him every day, that some of the things you are doing isn't helping the team. It could be something as mundane as keeping your locker clean and being a good neighbor."

    The transformation started, oddly enough, when Stephenson agitated LeBron James in last season's playoffs. Stephenson had watched the intensity of the playoffs, the way players bore down on defense, how every possession counted. He wanted to play, to do anything to help his team. Television cameras caught Stephenson making a choke signal after James missed a technical free throw in the third quarter of the series' third game.

    "I was trying to do anything to get into anybody's head on the floor," Stephenson says. "I felt like at that moment I got in his head and I made him miss that shot. That helped us win that game. I try to be involved even if I'm not on the floor."

    That didn't sit well with Miami.

    "Lance Stephenson?" James asked incredulously. "You want a quote about Lance Stephenson? I'm not even going to give him the time." Old-school enforcement ensued. Veteran Juwan Howard aggressively approached Stephenson before the series' next game. Dexter Pittman, a reserve big man who played for Miami last season, clotheslined Stephenson during the waning moments of the fifth game. "I think you've got to stop and wonder at that point, Is it me or is it everybody else?" Burke says.

    Stephenson is right. Indiana did win the third game and assumed a 2-1 series lead. But then James turned in a 40-point, 18-rebound, nine-assist masterpiece in the next game. Miami won the final three games on its way to a championship, and Stephenson learned something about tugging the tiger's tail.

    "It gave LeBron a little trigger," Stephenson says. "It made him go harder the next game. He responded well after I did that. Coach got on me a little bit and I just calmed down."

    Stephenson still talks, especially at practice. But when an opponent talks back, he turns it up a gear.

    "That gets me motivated because when you talk junk that means that you got to score or you got to show that you're not just talking, you're playing hard too," Stephenson says.

    At a recent practice, Stephenson and teammate George Hill pressed Gerald Green after a defensive lapse. The badgering was harmless, yet persistent enough for Coach Frank Vogel to quietly ask them to stop. "He's young and a lot of guys grow up talking on the court," Walsh says. "Act like you've been there before. The less you say on the court to referees and other players, the more confident I think you are. It's kind of like, we all grow up in the city. After a while, you got to know that the guys who wolfed all the time weren't very tough. The guys who never said anything scared the **** out of me."
    Even players with the most irrational sense of confidence need to start somewhere. Stephenson found his against Sacramento in November. When the Kings forced Indiana into overtime, Stephenson was surprised to find himself still on the floor. It was only the third game of what he considered his make-or-break season. He had never played serious minutes when it mattered this much. But he was unfazed, connecting on a 3-pointer in overtime, helping to force a second overtime. The Pacers won easily in the second OT.

    Stephenson had spent two years studying Danny Granger, Paul George, and others who played ahead of him. They knew the defensive signals, the calls, when to shoot a gap, how to trail a shooter. This was all new for him. Cincinnati mostly stuck to zone defense. Its offense was unsophisticated. But in the NBA, you can't tell your coach you're in a zone and can't be pestered with plays.

    "You can't be too wild in this league because everybody's smart," Stephenson says. Assistant coach Brian Shaw kept telling Stephenson that players like Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady did not arrive in the NBA as All-Stars.

    "He always had the ball skills, the bravado," Shaw says. "That was a big part of his game, but like a lot of young players, you get in this league and you are playing against grown men. Now you're not the biggest, strongest guy anymore. Offensively, he needed to get confidence in his perimeter game, which he has now. But he had to learn how to guard scorers at his position. That was probably the weakest part of his game. At that position, you have to learn how to guard the best scorers night in and night out."

    Granger has missed the bulk of the season with a knee injury, so Stephenson was added to the starting lineup in the season's seventh game. George slid down to small forward to make room for Stephenson as Indiana's shooting guard. He's started every game since. "I don't ever want to come off the bench," Stephenson says. "I want to be known as a starting player. So, I've got to keep working. If I keep doing that, the sky's the limit."

    Vogel points to another game, against Denver, when Stephenson made little impact. Vogel told Stephenson that when he was not at his best, neither are the Pacers. "That's when he realized how important he is to this team and that he's not a fill-in for Danny Granger and keeping his seat warm," Vogel says. "He's a major factor at both ends of the ball in our success this year."

    The Pacers are undeniably better with Stephenson on the floor. His averages of eight and a half points and four rebounds per game may not impress, especially for New York City's all-time leading high school scorer. But he has already succeeded where other phenoms have failed.

    "Particularly in New York, he was made out to be the savior," says Walsh, a native who presided over the Knicks when Stephenson played in high school. "To a degree, he came into this league very, very young. He's still very young. I think he has made the adjustment to being a great talent and trying to get his game ready for the NBA game. A lot of guys can't [escape] the tag. This kid has gotten out of it and he realizes what he wants to do."

    The Pacers, amazingly, have not missed a beat without Granger, a smart and collected leader on the court who emerged as the face of the franchise after the brawl. But Stephenson helped make the transition without him easier. Now, the Pacers are again eyeing a rematch with Miami in the playoffs. This time, Stephenson will have a chance to actually influence the outcome on the court.9

    "He's still Lance," center Roy Hibbert says. "He still does the things that he does, but he does it in an aggressive nature."

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Jim O'Brien coached Stephenson when he broke into the league. "I'll pass," he simply replied when asked to be interviewed about Stephenson.
    Jeezus, what an *******.
    Last edited by Sandman21; 04-11-2013 at 03:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    That's a really nice article. Lance only wants to be a Antonio Davis, er, starter.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    A-Hole ex-coach remark not withstanding, this article pretty much dictates just how lucky Lance was to be picked up by Indiana with a support structure for him. I honestly don't know that he'd still be in the league today if a Sacramento or a team with a toxic locker room had drafted him.
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    A-Hole ex-coach remark not withstanding, this article pretty much dictates just how lucky Lance was to be picked up by Indiana with a support structure for him. I honestly don't know that he'd still be in the league today if a Sacramento or a team with a toxic locker room had drafted him.
    Agreed.

    Although in JOB's defense (ugh) Lance was a problem for him based on what we know. So, if he never experienced the "good" Lance, he wouldn't have anything nice to say. And it is better to simply pass than give an interview in which you'll be disparaging Lance the whole time.

    That's the best I can come up with.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    That's an excellent article.

    I loved the Lance parts and it also made me to root for Ricky Davis
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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    It was interesting, but the Lance, Ricky connection seemed forced. I agree it was strange.

    Still a fun read.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    He has quickly become one of my favorite players on the team, when gets aggressive and starts breaking down the D the Pacers look unbeatable.
    You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    What I gather from the article is how important it is to walk a thin line

    The "swagger" Lance has if tempered , is one thing the Pacers really need. Outside of George Hill , he is really the only Pacer I see with the ability to get in a zone and take over the game for a short period of time

    I would say David West and Tyler can somewhat but in different ways, becasue they are not guards who can initiate a scoring binge with the ball in their hands

    Sometimes I fantasize what Paul George would be like if he had Lance's fearlessness and confidence to dominate and not back down from anyone
    Sittin on top of the world!

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    I guess I am the only person who lost it when they read O'Brien's "I'll pass" line. That was hilarious. Bravo, dipshit.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    When Lebron is assigned to guard you, you know you have to be an important piece of the team's success. Hopefully, Vogel has some plans for that situation in out next matchup. No Lance = no fastbreaks and pressure on the defense in transition.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Imagine what O'B would have said if Lance was not Larry's boy. And the odds are that, at that point in time, Lance would have deserved it.

    Lance should thank his lucky stars that Clark Kellogg was named as his mentor, despite that not being mentioned in this article. I suspect that Clark has played a significant role in speeding up the maturation process for Lance.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Yeah, I'm not exactly sure what the link between Ricky and Lance was.

    On a side note, Ricky was actually looking like a quality guy just looking for another shot until that last paragraph. I doubt he gets another chance. He was a high flyer, who probably doesn't simply fly as high anymore.

    I didn't really learn anything on Lance I didn't already know. Bird vouched for the kid, whereas most GM's likely would've given up on him. I also think had he gone to New York, he's probably out of basketball right now. Indiana has given him a tamer and lower key environment where he can mature as a both a player and a person. The support structure has been solid as noted.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Jim O'Brien coached Stephenson when he broke into the league. "I'll pass," he simply replied when asked to be interviewed about Stephenson.
    And this would go down in history as the nicest thing JOB ever said about any player not named Murphy, Dunleavy or Posey.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
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    Agreed.

    Although in JOB's defense (ugh) Lance was a problem for him based on what we know. So, if he never experienced the "good" Lance, he wouldn't have anything nice to say. And it is better to simply pass than give an interview in which you'll be disparaging Lance the whole time.

    That's the best I can come up with.
    Of course he was a problem for JOB. He required hands-on, empathetic coaching. JOB's interpersonal methods run closer to "you suck if you are young, no matter what you do it won't be good enough, and go fetch the vet some ice for his aching 3pt elbow". Did he handle Roy or Josh or Tyler or Paul any better?



    I totally agree Sandman, if he wasn't with the Pacers and if the Pacers weren't in the position they were post-brawl era, then he might not have made it. They needed the mature guys, Bird knew he had to be hands-on, and they knew that they needed a talent gamble to get them over the top (maybe not "needed" but that it would be a huge help). They had every reason to watch him close and Bird specifically had already learned a lesson with Shawne Williams. It's been a perfect storm for Lance, including switching to player-supportive Vogel and then adding vet savvy Shaw to the mix.


    This is why I always argue with people just chasing talent or high draft picks or whatever, and then point to the Spurs. People act like it was as simple as "getting lucky" with Duncan. But Parker and Manu were very low picks and plenty of teams have stars on par with Duncan. CULTURE IS KEY. Teams, like companies, that dictate the right culture with the right game plan from the top down will always find success. They will cultivate talent that doesn't fit initially and hold players to standards. They will not sell their souls for pure talent and will have the courage to turn away from extreme talent that just doesn't fit.

    It's like saying Hawaii is just lucky to have so many great surfers born or living there. No, Hawaii has an environment conducive to great surfing. It has the waves, which brings the best, which creates a growth path for others to follow and then it just feeds on itself.


    By the way, this is why I've always said that I DO NOT WANT PLAYERS WHO CHOOSE TEAMS BY BEACH PROPERTY OR STAR OPPORTUNITIES. Fans crying that we can't compete with Miami for FAs aren't thinking about the type of FAs they are failing to get. Lebron finally won a title (after missing in year 1) but he's got a few more to go just to catch Duncan. Duncan once had the chance to do exactly what Lebron did and join Grant Hill in Orlando, or to go be the man in the much larger Chicago market. He chose to stay put in SAS and went on to win more titles.

    Give me a David West type FA. A guy that knows the kind of environment he wants from his "company" and isn't sweating the quality or volume of his in-season partying. You want guys who's #1, by far, focus is playing quality basketball. Not being "the man", not ring chasing in the sense of riding along with someone else. No, you want a guy that says "I want to be part of building that and I want to be around other guys who feel the same way, guys who share the load and the fame and play the sport at a high quality level".


    For most of us the best job we ever have probably won't be the one that paid the most, but it will be the one we took the most pride in doing. And to me that's what Pacers Basketball should mean.

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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Lance Stephenson?" James asked incredulously. "You want a quote about Lance Stephenson? I'm not even going to give him the time."
    Quote Originally Posted by ksuttonjr76 View Post
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    When Lebron is assigned to guard you, you know you have to be an important piece of the team's success. Hopefully, Vogel has some plans for that situation in out next matchup. No Lance = no fastbreaks and pressure on the defense in transition.
    Funny that Lebron acts like he's never heard of Lance and then less than a year later he's being assigned to shut him down. That alone speaks volumes to how rapidly Lance has improved.

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  37. #21
    Member Mr.ThunderMakeR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    He's started every game since. "I don't ever want to come off the bench," Stephenson says. "I want to be known as a starting player. So, I've got to keep working. If I keep doing that, the sky's the limit."
    I thought this quote was interesting. Would we have had a problem with Lance if Danny would have come back and forced him to the bench?

  38. #22

    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    i guess i should stop being surprised. the Pacers haven't picked higher than 10th since the 1980s and yet they keep getting gems.

    still, Lance has been one of the most unexpected Pacers success stories to me. i never saw him becoming a starting caliber player.

  39. #23

    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Lance Stephenson has the potential to bring the Pacers championships someday. I didn't nickname him Baby J for no reason. I do like the nickname L-Train though. Fits the NYC character to a mold, and he plays like a freight train on the court literally.

    Live up to the potential Lance...Live up to that potential...If he's ever as good as I think he can be someday very soon then he will be the draft steal of all time. I remember years back arguing with people on here about the value of second rounders...Then we drafted Lance Stephenson...Lance Stephenson is the most talented Pacer to ever put on an NBA uniform...Just live up to that potential Lance, I am pulling for you...

    That steal the other night to win us the game and the way he moved with the ball afterwards reminded me of one player, and one player only...And that is Jordan...Lance will never be Jordan and no one will ever be but he has the potential to bring us championships if he lives up to his full potential, I promise you that.

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  41. #24
    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.ThunderMakeR View Post
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    I thought this quote was interesting. Would we have had a problem with Lance if Danny would have come back and forced him to the bench?
    Because he said he doesn't want to come off the bench?? Really?

    Would it make you feel better if he said he loves playing off the bench, and he feels he could have a quality career coming off the bench?

    Stop taking the words of athletes the way the media wants to take them, and take them for what they are. Lance like every other player EVER doesn't want to come off the bench. Of course he doesn't.

    This no **** moment is brought to you by mattie. You are hydrated enough my friends. Drink less.
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    When George Hill is above 15% usage we won 73.5% of games. Below 15% usage we won 61.9%

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  43. #25
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    Default Re: Strange article about Lance....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.ThunderMakeR View Post
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    I thought this quote was interesting. Would we have had a problem with Lance if Danny would have come back and forced him to the bench?
    I don't know about that, but Vogle's quote in the article caught my attention.

    From the article:

    Vogel told Stephenson that when he was not at his best, neither are the Pacers. "That's when he realized how important he is to this team and that "he's not a fill-in for Danny Granger and keeping his seat warm," Vogel says. "He's a major factor at both ends of the ball in our success this year."

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