Milwaukee Bucks big man John Henson is the latest NBA player to be put off by Lance Stephenson’s tomfoolery.
After the Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers on Monday by the final of 92-89, Henson called out the Pacers swingman on Twitter for tripping him during the game in a sequence that was caught on the Milwaukee broadcast.
Lance Stephenson intentionally trips John Henson pic.twitter.com/KFEv9J9NWH
— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) March 6, 2018
— John Henson (@Johnhenson31) March 6, 2018
“S— crazy,” Henson added in a follow-up tweet.
The unpredictable Stephenson is obviously one of the biggest characters in the NBA (sometimes bordering on villain territory even), and he loves stirring up beef with opponents, especially those in-conference. An intentional trip is beyond just harmless beef though, and Henson probably won’t forget if the Bucks (currently eighth in the East) and the Pacers (currently three games ahead of them in fourth) meet in this year’s playoffs.
The Eastern Conference’s favorite rivalry is back.
LeBron James and Lance Stephenson were involved in a bit of a mix-up in the Cleveland Cavaliers-Indiana Pacers game on Friday night. The fun started in the fourth quarter when Stephenson got into James’ space during a dead ball, causing the four-time MVP to complain to the referees. As play was about to resume, James gave Stephenson a slight forearm shove to the chest and was promptly whistled for a technical foul.
Lance Stephenson lives in LeBron James' head pic.twitter.com/c2tImQWE1v
— Dakota Crawford (@DakotaCrawford_) January 13, 2018
The tech proved costly as the Pacers would eke out the 97-95 win to give the Cavs their third straight loss. As fate had it, James stepped out of bounds and turned the ball over in the closing seconds, and Stephenson was loving it.
LeBron steps out-of-bounds with 2 seconds left, down 1 … WAIT FOR LANCE pic.twitter.com/5FDzD98EcT
— Lance Stevewobson (@World_Wide_Wob) January 13, 2018
Of course, the two have a well-established history with one another, and it’s interesting that Lance can still get under LeBron’s skin after all these years.
Lance Stephenson is trying real hard to fill the face-of-the-Indiana-Pacers vacuum that was created by Paul George’s departure.
The Pacers officially unveiled a new redesign on Friday, and included as a part of it were some fresh new uniforms.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) July 28, 2017
Pacers new uniforms: pic.twitter.com/mDNQkly0dQ
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) July 28, 2017
Stephenson was particularly enthused by the look, hysterically quipping that he liked it so much that he was going to buy his own jersey.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) July 28, 2017
We know that Born Ready’s commitment to Indiana runs quite deep and that he may be playing a much larger role for the team next season. But with PG-13 no longer in the picture, Stephenson is putting together a mighty strong case indeed to be everybody’s new favorite Pacer.
- Lance Stephenson
It’s the NBA offseason that just keeps on giving.
In an post to his Instagram account on Wednesday, Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson called on Paul George to stay with the team.
A post shared by Lance Stephenson (@stephensonlance) on
Of course, who else popped into Stephenson’s comments section but Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas. The two-time All-Star poked fun at the post and prompted Stephenson to fire right back.
OMG THIS TEA BETWEEN Isaiah Thomas and Lance Stephenson is reallll pic.twitter.com/KsBR9GWqcG
— Chrish (@mistachrish) June 28, 2017
Thomas has certainly been one for creating drama on Instagram lately, and the Celtics are indeed one of the many teams in hot pursuit of George. In truth, nothing that happens on social media is likely to at all affect George’s NBA future, but this is some Grade-A beef to entertain us nevertheless.
Paul George has been commanding most of the headlines, but now we’re getting a window into the plan for the Indiana Pacers team he’s about to leave.
Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star reports on Monday that the Pacers and general manager Kevin Pritchard are considering making Lance Stephenson their point guard for a rebuild phase.
For Pacers rebuild, source says Kevin Pritchard is considering Lance Stephenson as the point guard. Lance has lost 10-plus lbs, looks great.
— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) June 19, 2017
Stephenson returned for his second stint with the Pacers last season, putting up 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game for them. He is due to make $4.18 million in 2017-18 with a $4.36 million team option for 2018-19.
The Pacers are used to George handling the ball fairly often, and incumbent point guard Jeff Teague is an unrestricted free agent this summer as well. Instead of shelling out bank to retain Teague, the team is probably better off moving into the post-George rebuild with a younger, cheaper, in-house option like Stephenson at the point, even if his erratic dribble-and-dish style and volatile personality are a double-edged sword.
- Lance Stephenson
Lance Stephenson did not have a good game for the Indiana Pacers in their 117-111 Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, and Paul George says the veteran leader needs to compose himself better even when things aren’t going well.
George was not trying to call out Stephenson in his postgame comments, but he did point out what Lance needs to do better:
Pacers' Paul George after Game 2 loss to Cavs: "[Lance Stephenson] has to learn to control himself… His body language has to improve." pic.twitter.com/vf301J85ZI
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 18, 2017
“He’s got to learn to control himself,” George gently said of Stephenson. “He’s got to learn to just be in the moment. Lance is looked upon as a leader in our locker room. His body language has to improve just for the team. We all know Lance is an emotional guy. A lot of it is his heart and competitiveness. He’s just got to channel that, put it towards making effort plays on the court.”
Even though Stephenson’s final numbers looked respectable — 13 points on 6-for-13 shooting with four assists and no turnovers — Stephenson committed four fouls in 26 minutes and proved unable to guard Kevin Love, who scored 27 points. The mismatch between Stephenson and Love was evident as the Cavs kept going to their forward when he was being guarded by Stephenson.
Indiana trails their first-round series with the Cavs 2-0. Game 3 will be on Saturday at Indiana.
It’s barely been a week since Lance Stephenson’s homecoming to the Indiana Pacers, but he’s already making his presence felt again.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Stephenson dropped this rather interesting quote about Pacers teammate Paul George, who can become a free agent after the 2017-18 season, per Derek Schultz of FOX Sports 97.5.
Stephenson on if he'll get PG to stay: "I gotta get all my guys, tie him up on a chair, and say, 'You ain't going nowhere, Paul George'."
— Derek Schultz (@Schultz975) April 5, 2017
A George departure two summers from now (perhaps to this hometown team of his) is beginning to look like a very present danger for the Pacers. But Stephenson, who returned for his second stint with the team last week, figures to have at least some pull in convincing George to stay as his lone remaining teammate (along with Lavoy Allen) from the Indiana team that made back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2013 and 2014.
Stephenson may not have to resort to those kinds of drastic measures if George makes an All-NBA team this season, thus qualifying him for a designated player exception and a potential $200-plus million extension from the Pacers. But it’s at least another testament to the way Stephenson’s personality has reinvigorated his teammates as they continue to fight for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.