HoopsHype Lance Stephenson rumors

October 10, 2014 Updates

"I'm not worried at all about Lance," Walker said. "There's nothing wrong with him. He doesn't say much; he's quiet. He just likes to have fun. When I saw [him blowing into James' ear], I'm like, 'That's nothing new.' Lance has been doing that for years. It's just that he's on a big stage, so everybody is going to always have something to say about it. "Lance just gets excited, and he loves to play the game of basketball. Basically he's trying to do whatever he can do to win a basketball game, and there's nothing wrong with that. I could care less if he blows into somebody's ear. He played very well in the playoffs last season, so he'll be fine, especially with the off-the-court stuff. I don't think he'll get in much trouble at all." Bleacher Report

September 29, 2014 Updates
September 28, 2014 Updates

But his love of basketball outweighs all, he says. Stephenson became one of the most improved players in basketball last season, and now he eyes an even bigger role with the Hornets, one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference. “I mean I ain’t going to say I’m on top, but I feel like I’m close,” said Stephenson, who will join teammates in Asheville this week for the start of training camp. “If I just keep working hard I can be past the top. I want to be one of the best players to play the game. It’s not just being nice and a good player. I want to be the best.” Charlotte Observer

His maturity still lagged far behind his basketball talents, though. “Because of who he was, he had been sheltered,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. “He’s from a very close-knit family, and they tried to protect him, and rightfully so because of the hype he received at a young age. He hadn’t really been outside of his web, so to speak, where he had to meet new people and talk to new people. We spent a lot of time, just him growing up and meeting new people, trusting new people, talking to new people. “He’s been through a lot for a young guy, so he’s got a lot of safeguards up. He doesn’t trust a lot of people, which is a good thing nowadays as a pro athlete and you’re meeting people. He’s definitely layered when it comes to that. Because he was such a big name at such a young age and some of the things that have gone on and the accusations he’s had to deal with.” Charlotte Observer

September 22, 2014 Updates
September 12, 2014 Updates

Hill’s former backcourt mate, Lance Stephenson, is spitting his own rhymes on top of Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot N—a” track. And it’s actually pretty good. Knowing Lance, of course he’s going to rap about crossing over his defender, needing the ball in his hands more often, coming out of Coney Island, SportsCenter, and money.” Unfortunately, he used the n-word; not just once but way too often. Note: This song is not suitable for children. Vigilant Sports

August 26, 2014 Updates
August 25, 2014 Updates
July 20, 2014 Updates

The Pacers also will have far less money on the books in the coming years, when Stephenson could have potentially renegotiated. At the time, though, the numbers didn't add up for Ebanks and Stephenson. Truth be told, they still don't. "I really feel bad about losing him,'' Bird said. "I hope it doesn't interfere with our relationship. But I did what I could possibly do to keep him here. Even if he didn't have any other offers, I was committed to giving him that $44 million because I believe in the kid. If you look at our roster, we have five or six guys in the last year of their deals, plus David (West) and Roy (Hibbert) can opt out, so don't you think I wanted to keep Lance and Paul (George) locked into long-term deals?'' USA Today Sports

Bird could stomach this if Stephenson had left for much greener pastures, a lot more cash. But the argument can be made that he left for a worse deal. "It's just disappointing,'' Bird said. "When I'd go to practices, when he was on, he was by far our best player. And he worked. If you work as hard as he does, you're going to get better. I'm going to miss the kid, no question. And he's growing up. That stuff he pulled in the playoffs, that was out of the blue. But I knew how good Lance was and the value he brought to our team.'' USA Today Sports

Now Lance Stephenson is being injected into that mix — and Jefferson is pumped about it. “I’m excited about Lance,” Jefferson said in the hall outside the Hornets locker room at the Thomas & Mack Center, where he had shown up to watch Charlotte eliminate New York from the Summer League tournament. “We’re all going to be on the same page as far as defense, and defense dictates the offense. “But Lance is a playmaker. That’s the reason he led the NBA in triple-doubles last year. He’s got this nastiness about his game that you want on your team. I was really excited to hear he signed with us and he wanted to do that. I think he’s got a lot to prove, and he wants to show people he can be a great superstar in this league.” NBCSports.com

July 19, 2014 Updates

Stephenson said during his introductory news conference Friday in Charlotte he's ''a little upset'' that the ear-blowing incident in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Miami is how some people have defined him as a player. ''I feel like it overshadowed my play on the court,'' Stephenson said. ''I bring more to the table than just blowing in someone's ear. I'm a great player.'' NBA.com

July 18, 2014 Updates

Hornets owner Michael Jordan attended the meeting in Las Vegas on Tuesday night that resulted in Stephenson signing a 3-year, $27.4 million contract. Jordan spoke very directly with Stephenson before signing off on this contract. “He told me what he likes about me, he told me what I need to calm down on,” Stephenson told the Observer after the news conference. “He told me how I can contribute to the team. And he told me he believed in my talent. He likes my competitive edge.” Charlotte Observer

Coach Steve Clifford sounds OK with the prospect of managing this tradeoff – what Indianapolis media labeled “good Lance” and “bad Lance.” “I think those things are a by-product of the fact that he badly wants to win,” Clifford said in a conference call from Las Vegas, where the Hornets continue in summer league. Our owner talked to him specifically about the fact that those are things that we can work on. He knows that. He knows that sometimes he has crossed the line a little bit. I think he does that out of competitiveness.” Charlotte Observer

“We did not want to see a long-term deal unless the overall deal was extremely attractive,” said Stephenson’s agent, Alberto Ebanks. “Like most of us, he’s a work-in-progress. If you watch a tape of his entire season, he did some things he didn’t need to do. But he did so many great things, too. You don’t want the real message to be lost: This is a man capable of a triple-double every night. A person who takes great joy in helping his team win.” Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Lance Stephenson. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We are extremely excited to add Lance to our team,” Cho said. “He is a great up-and-coming player with an incredibly high ceiling. He is an exceptional athlete who has the versatility and skill to play multiple positions on both offense and defense. We believe he will be an outstanding addition to our roster.” NBA.com

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