HoopsHype Lance Stephenson rumors

November 2, 2014 Updates
October 29, 2014 Updates

"If I feel like he's going the wrong way that is when I will step in, like most parents do, and say, 'Look you need to focus on this and think about that,'" Jordan said. The internal intensity and sometimes uncontrollable competitive drive undoubtedly cost Stephenson money during free agency, and he knows the Hornets can't afford the distractions on the floor. "I have to cut down on the antics," Stephenson said. "I have to do whatever it takes to stay on the floor. If I get too much into the antics and get teched out I can cost the team." USA Today Sports

October 23, 2014 Updates

"I wanted to stay there but they gave me a deadline where I had to choose," Stephenson said. "So there wasn't no time for me to make a decision. They gave me a deadline (before) how long it (was) going to take for them to go somewhere else. I had to make a quick decision and me and my agent decided we would see what other teams (were) talking about." Indianapolis Star

On July 2, the Pacers turned their attention to Plan B and agreed to terms with free agent CJ Miles. In Stephenson's view, the Miles' deal sealed his departure from the Pacers. "They didn't have nothing else. They had no more money or anything. That was basically it right there," Stephenson said. "Soon as I said no to that offer, they went and signed CJ. I figured they thought I had no chance of coming back, they just went on and signed CJ. … I felt like it was a wrap after that." Indianapolis Star

"They said shorter deals but it didn't make no sense to do the deals that they were talking about," Stephenson said. "I figured I'd just go somewhere else where I could be more happy and I feel like I'm playing (for) at least what I'm worth." Indianapolis Star

While that dinner included countless laughs and plenty of reminiscing, there's one reunion that will have to wait. Stephenson has not communicated with his former mentor, Bird, since leaving for Charlotte. "There ain't no hard feelings. That's my guy, but I haven't talked to him," said Stephenson, who expects to see Bird on Nov. 19 when he returns to Indiana for the first time as a Hornet. Definitely," Stephenson said. "I'm going to speak to him." Indianapolis Star

October 22, 2014 Updates

Before Stephenson had committed to Charlotte, his representatives had recognized his successful growth with the Indiana Pacers and a desire to stay. Move a salary off the books, move a player here or there and keep your homegrown talent, Stephenson’s management team urged the Pacers’ front office. With the ability to shed part or all of Luis Scola’s and Donald Sloan’s contracts, people involved in negotiations brought up scenarios to remove those deals to create an increased Year 1 and Year 2 salary for Stephenson in a deal with Indiana. Suggestions went unanswered, without execution. Under the direction of Larry Bird and Herb Simon, the Pacers remained resistant in their contract offer to Stephenson, and lost him. Bird had called Stephenson’s behaviors “disappointing” late in last season’s playoffs, had failed to convince ownership enough of his former second round pick to spike into a luxury tax area, but Stephenson was his guy. He always shielded Stephenson privately and publicly. Away from this partnership, Stephenson understands there’s no turning back now, no grudge to keep. RealGM

October 20, 2014 Updates

I know you've moved on. But any disappointment about how things ended in Indy? Lance Stephenson: Nah. I'm here. That's the past, and I'm looking forward right now. I'm happy with where I'm at, and I just want to win here. I think we're going to be good. We have a group of guys that want to be together and want to win and play hard. I think we'll be pretty good this year. NBA.com

October 19, 2014 Updates
October 17, 2014 Updates
October 16, 2014 Updates
October 14, 2014 Updates

After Stephenson and his agent, Alberto Ebanks, had failed to reach a deal with the Pacers, they met in Las Vegas with Jordan, Cho, Hornets vice chairman Curtis Polk, Clifford, Ewing and assistant general manager Chad Buchanan. Jordan wasn't the only member of his family at the meeting, either, as his brother and Hornets director of player personnel Larry Jordan was there, as was Hornets executive vice president of operations Ronnie Jordan. As Clifford remembers it, MJ and Ewing — the face of the Knicks during Stephenson's childhood — had everything to do with the three-year, $27million deal getting done a day later. "The biggest part about the meeting was our owner," Clifford says. "He's a fan of Lance. He loves his competitiveness, and he talked to him candidly about why we think he's such a good fit for our franchise and about things ... that (Stephenson) could control to get better. I thought that set the tone for the whole meeting." USA Today Sports

October 10, 2014 Updates

By the weekend of July 11, both sides had verbally committed to a two-year contract worth slightly more than Stephenson's eventual deal with the Hornets, according to Ebanks. But Dallas was in a holding pattern; the Houston Rockets first had to match Chandler Parsons' Mavericks offer, or it wouldn't happen. "It was a domino effect," Ebanks said. "Dallas did not think that Houston was going to let Parsons walk. Lance was very close to being a member of the Mavericks. When you're a little further along into free agency, people are more in the position to pull the trigger when they see what they're looking for." CBSSports.com

Neither Stephenson nor Ebanks had ever met Jordan. Neither were they prepared for what he was about to say to Stephenson: "You can be something special," Ebanks recalled. "When I shook [Jordan's] hand, I was shaking," Stephenson said. "I was very nervous because that's like everybody in the world who played basketball's idol. I thought I would never meet Michael Jordan, but when I finally met him and talked to him and got to know him, that was the best feeling ever." Bleacher Report

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