The Indiana Pacers made a big mistake in letting crazy-ass Lance Stephenson go to the Charlotte Hornets.
I know the Pacers had some chemistry problems and Stephenson may have had a lot to do with that. I know that his antics in the playoffs – especially vs. the Miami Heat – were a major distraction. As I wrote before, there is no reason why a grown man should be blowing into another man’s ear.
His teammates were eventually tired of his act. Hell Larry Bird, an ardent Stephenson supporter, called him out for that foolishness.
However Stephenson was the only Pacer (outside of David West) who have the Pacers their heart. He led the NBA in triple-doubles. He can create his own shot, leading to instant offense when needed.
In short, Stephenson’s departure made Indiana’s lack of offense worse, while making the Hornets’ better.
Anyone who watched the Hornets last year noticed the following: 1) they were inexplicably called the Bobcats; 2) while they were one of the better defensive teams, they couldn’t score on their on wives. Stephenson gives Charlotte the scorer it sorely lacked last season. You think Al Jefferson will be glad to have another teammate who could create his own shot?
Stephenson also gives them something that Indiana lacked: heart.
Say what you want about him (crazy as hell and reckless come to mind), but Stephenson was not afraid of ANYONE. Check out what he did during the Miami playoff series. I realize anyone who challenges LeBron James and Dwyane Wade may be nothing short of “stuck on stupid”. But count me as a person who rather have fearless cats as teammates than cowardly lions.
Look, I don’t know if Stephenson will be able to keep it together in Charlotte next season – let alone the next three years on his contract. But this is a good inexpensive gamble by Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets.