Lance Stephenson

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Lance Stephenson
Lance Stephenson 2018.jpg
Stephenson with the Indiana Pacers in 2018
Free agent
PositionPoint guard
Personal information
Born (1990-09-05) September 5, 1990 (age 32)
Brooklyn, New York
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolAbraham Lincoln (Brooklyn, New York)
CollegeCincinnati (2009–2010)
NBA draft2010 / Round: 2 / Pick: 40th overall
Selected by the Indiana Pacers
Playing career2010–present
Career history
20102014Indiana Pacers
2014–2015Charlotte Hornets
2015–2016Los Angeles Clippers
2016Memphis Grizzlies
2016New Orleans Pelicans
2017Minnesota Timberwolves
20172018Indiana Pacers
2018–2019Los Angeles Lakers
2019–2020Liaoning Flying Leopards
2021Grand Rapids Gold
2021–2022Atlanta Hawks
2022Indiana Pacers
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Lance Stephenson Jr. (born September 5, 1990) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He attended Lincoln High School in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn,[1] where he was named Mr. New York Basketball after his senior year and appeared in the 2009 McDonald's All-American Game. He later played college basketball for the Cincinnati Bearcats and was selected in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers.

High school career[edit]

Stephenson first caught the attention of scouts at age 12, when Clark Francis, a talent evaluator, saw him play at Rumble in the Bronx AAU tournament. Before his first year of high school, he attended the Adidas ABCD Camp, where he challenged O. J. Mayo to a one-on-one game.[2]

In the summer of 2005, Stephenson enrolled at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, but he only attended the school for three days. The school lost in the championship game. The following week, Stephenson did not return to classes at Bishop Loughlin, and was attending Abraham Lincoln High School near his home in Coney Island.[2] National Basketball Association players Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair, and future Seton Hall University star Isaiah Whitehead had also attended and played basketball at Lincoln High. Head coach Dwayne Morton said, "[Stephenson] always talked about outdoing Sebastian, outdoing Stephon," and called him "The best I've ever had at Lincoln."[3] Stephenson went on to lead the Railsplitters to the city title that year.

Lincoln High repeated as champions his sophomore and junior years, while Stephenson won back-to-back Player of the Year honors from the New York Daily News. As a sophomore, he was the youngest player featured in the movie Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot, which followed eight high school basketball prospects.[4] In 2007 as a high school junior he was named to the annual USA Today's All-USA boys basketball team, the only non-senior to be given that honor.[5]

In July 2008, Stephenson tried out for the United States national team's under-18 team, but was cut because of chemistry reasons.[2]

On February 15, 2009, Stephenson passed fellow Lincoln High School alumnus Telfair's previous record of 2,785 points in the Brooklyn borough title game to become the all-time leading scorer for high school basketball in New York State.[6] In March 2009, Stephenson led Lincoln High to an unprecedented fourth consecutive Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) class AA championship. Stephenson scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the 78–56 final win against John F. Kennedy, and helped Lincoln become the first school in city history to win four straight titles.[3]

Stephenson's high school career ended in the New York State semifinal, where Rice High School beat Lincoln 77–50, and Stephenson was held to 12 points by Rice's Durand Scott, who also beat out Stephenson for the Daily News' New York City player of the year honor.[7] He ended his career with 2,946 points.[2]

In April 2009, Stephenson played in the McDonald's All-American Game, finishing with 12 points, six assists and three steals.[8]

Recruiting[edit]

In early 2009, Stephenson chose Kansas, St. John's and Maryland as his finalists,[9] but he canceled two announcements, and his father said that he had narrowed his choice to Maryland and Arizona.[10]

His official visit to Maryland in February came under scrutiny after he was given a tour of the Under Armour headquarters during his visit. This may have constituted a recruiting violation, as Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is a Maryland graduate and on the university's board of trustees, and by NCAA rules, "representative of the institution's athletics interests" or a booster.[11]

Stephenson initially told reporters he would announce which college he would be attending following the PSAL title game in March, but delayed the announcement until the McDonald's All-American Game on April 1, saying, "I already know where I'm going. This is not the right place [to make an announcement]."[12] On March 31, Stephenson, who had been expected to commit to Kansas during the All-American game's media event, instead announced that he would delay the announcement again.

In April 2009, another top recruit Xavier Henry, who had been released from his commitment to Memphis after coach John Calipari left to take the Kentucky job, announced he would play for Kansas. Because Henry's commitment put Kansas at the 13-scholarship limit under NCAA rules, it ruled out a scholarship offer for Stephenson.[13]

On May 20, the last day of the late signing period, Stephenson had not signed a letter of intent, but his father Lance Sr. told USA Today that he would not make a decision until his sexual assault case from October was resolved. The day before, a judge had adjourned his case until June 29.[10]

On June 30, Andy Katz of ESPN.com reported that Stephenson signed a financial aid agreement with the University of Cincinnati, and he joined the Bearcats for the 2009–10 season.[14]

College career[edit]

Stephenson with the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2010

Questions remained over Stephenson's eligibility because of his involvement in his documention, but on November 6, 2009, the NCAA cleared him to play in Cincinnati's season opener against Prairie View A&M University on November 15 without missing any games.[15] In his only season at Cincinnati, Stephenson started 32 of 34 games and averaged 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He scored a season-best 23 points and made a season-high 11 field goals in 17 attempts against Georgetown on March 6, 2010. He was the leading scorer among Big East freshmen and was named Big East Rookie of the Year.[16] On April 7, 2010, Stephenson announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2010 NBA draft.[17]

Professional career[edit]

Indiana Pacers (2010–2014)[edit]

Early years (2010–2013)[edit]

Stephenson was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 40th pick in the 2010 NBA draft.[18] He did not make his NBA debut until February 27, 2011, in a 110–108 loss to the Phoenix Suns.[19] In four minutes, he recorded two points, two assists and one rebound.[20] He had been in uniform five times before making his debut, but had not received an opportunity due to being the third point guard on the team.[19] He played in 12 regular-season games before being demoted for violating team rules in early April. His ongoing immaturity issues were to blame.[21]

In the lockout-shortened 2011–12 season, Stephenson was a fixture in the first half of the season playing in 32 of the first 35 games, but fell out of the picture in the second half of the season, making just 10 appearances in the final 31. In the regular-season finale on April 25, with the third seed clinched and Danny Granger and Leandro Barbosa given the night off to nurse injuries, Stephenson started for the first time and scored 22 points on 10 of 15 shooting, playing 35 minutes without a turnover. He had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the fourth quarter, but the Pacers fell short against the Chicago Bulls, losing 92–87.[22][23]

With Danny Granger out injured for the majority of the 2012–13 season, Stephenson had a breakthrough year. He averaged 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 29.2 minutes per game during the regular season. He improved to 9.4 points and 7.6 rebounds during the playoffs, although his shooting percentages dropped in all categories.[24] On April 14, 2013, he scored a season-high 22 points against the New York Knicks.[25] In game six of the Pacers' second-round playoff series against the Knicks, Stephenson scored a career-best 25 points.[25]

Breakout season (2013–2014)[edit]

Stephenson had another breakout season in 2013–14, posting career highs across the board in his second year in a starting role.[26] On November 11, 2013, he scored 13 points with career highs of 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his first career triple-double as the Pacers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 95–79.[27][28] He had his second career triple-double eleven days later, recording 10 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds in a 97–82 win over the Boston Celtics.[29] On December 22, 2013, he recorded his third career triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 106–79 win over the Celtics.[30] On January 16, 2014, Stephenson scored a career-high 28 points in a 117–89 win over the Knicks.[31] He finished the regular season with a league-high five triple-doubles,[32][33] and finished second in NBA Most Improved Player Award voting.[34] The Pacers entered the playoffs as the first seed in the Eastern Conference and advanced to the conference finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat for the second straight year. His unusual tactics made headlines during the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat,[35] including blowing in the ear of LeBron James during a game five win.[36]

Following the 2013–14 season, the Pacers offered him a five-year, $44 million contract, but instead Stephenson opted to test the market, believing that he was worth more.[35]

Charlotte Hornets (2014–2015)[edit]

On July 18, 2014, Stephenson signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets.[37][38] On November 7, 2014, he won the game for the Hornets in double overtime with a buzzer-beating three-point shot to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 122–119, finishing with his first double-double as a Hornet with 17 points and 13 rebounds.[39] On January 14, 2015, against the San Antonio Spurs, Stephenson returned from a 14-game absence due to a pelvic sprain.[40]

Los Angeles Clippers (2015–2016)[edit]

On June 15, 2015, Stephenson was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes.[41] On December 2, 2015, he scored a then season-high 19 points in a loss to his former team, the Indiana Pacers.[42]

Memphis Grizzlies (2016)[edit]

On February 18, 2016, Stephenson was traded, along with a future first-round pick, to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jeff Green.[43] On March 11, 2016, he scored a career-high 33 points in a 121–114 overtime win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[44]

New Orleans Pelicans (2016)[edit]

On September 14, 2016, Stephenson signed with the New Orleans Pelicans.[45] After sustaining a groin injury on November 4[46][47] and being subsequently ruled out for six to 10 weeks,[48] the Pelicans waived Stephenson on November 7.[49]

Minnesota Timberwolves (2017)[edit]

On February 8, 2017, Stephenson signed a 10-day contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.[50] On February 14, 2017, in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain.[51] On March 8, 2017, after recovering from the injury, Stephenson signed a second 10-day contract with the Timberwolves.[52] On March 18, the Timberwolves decided not to sign him for the rest of the season.[53]

Return to Indiana (2017–2018)[edit]

On March 30, 2017, Stephenson signed with the Indiana Pacers, returning to the franchise for a second stint.[54] On June 25, 2018, the Pacers declined their team option on Stephenson's contract, thus parting ways with him for a second time.[55]

Los Angeles Lakers (2018–2019)[edit]

On July 10, 2018, Stephenson signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.[56] On October 24, 2018, he had 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 131–113 win over the Phoenix Suns.[57] He missed time in March because of a sprained toe on his left foot.[58] He was the last Lakers player to wear number #6 before LeBron James.

Liaoning Flying Leopards (2019–2020)[edit]

On August 1, 2019, Stephenson signed with the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association.[59] On September 22, 2019, he helped the team in an 83–82 title win over Seoul SK Knights at 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 and named the most valuable player of the Terrific 12.[60]

Grand Rapids Gold (2021)[edit]

Stephenson was selected by the Grand Rapids Gold 13th overall in the 2021 NBA G League draft.[61] In 12 games, he averaged 19.8 points (.476 FG%, .306 3FG%, .686 FT%), 8.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 35.0 minutes per contest.[62]

Atlanta Hawks (2021)[edit]

On December 22, 2021, Stephenson signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks.[62]

Third stint with Indiana (2022)[edit]

After his contract with the Hawks expired, Stephenson signed a new 10-day contract with the Indiana Pacers on January 1, 2022, to return to the franchise for a third stint. He signed the contract under the NBA's COVID-related hardship exception.[63] On January 8, he recorded 16 points, a career-high 14 assists and four steals in a 125–113 win over the Utah Jazz.[64][65] After initially re-signing with the Pacers on January 11 to a second 10-day contract under the hardship exception,[66] he signed a regular 10-day contract on January 14 due to the Pacers no longer having any players listed in the NBA's Health & Safety protocols.[67] Stephenson signed a second 10-day contract with the Pacers on January 24.[68] On February 4, he signed with the Pacers until the end of the season.[69] On February 13, 2022, Stephenson logged 21 points, four assists, and three rebounds in a 129-120 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. On March 24, 2022 Stephenson scored 25 points in a 103-133 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.[70]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
 *  Led the league

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2010–11 Indiana 12 0 9.6 .333 .000 .786 1.5 1.8 .3 .0 3.1
2011–12 Indiana 42 1 10.5 .376 .133 .471 1.3 1.1 .5 .1 2.5
2012–13 Indiana 78 72 29.2 .460 .330 .652 3.9 2.9 1.0 .2 8.8
2013–14 Indiana 78 78 35.3 .491 .352 .711 7.2 4.6 .7 .1 13.8
2014–15 Charlotte 61 25 25.8 .376 .171 .627 4.5 3.9 .6 .1 8.2
2015–16 L.A. Clippers 43 10 15.8 .494 .404 .700 2.5 1.4 .6 .1 4.7
2015–16 Memphis 26 3 26.6 .474 .355 .815 4.4 2.8 .7 .2 14.2
2016–17 New Orleans 6 0 27.0 .473 .100 .625 3.3 4.8 .3 .2 9.7
2016–17 Minnesota 6 0 11.2 .476 .000 .500 1.7 .8 .0 .0 3.5
2016–17 Indiana 6 0 22.0 .409 .625 .667 4.0 4.2 .5 .3 7.2
2017–18 Indiana 82* 7 22.6 .427 .289 .661 5.2 2.9 .6 .2 9.2
2018–19 L.A. Lakers 68 3 16.5 .426 .371 .685 3.2 2.1 .6 .1 7.2
2021–22 Atlanta 6 0 11.7 .385 .000 .500 2.5 1.8 .0 .0 1.8
2021–22 Indiana 40 1 18.6 .458 .310 .795 2.8 3.9 .6 .1 9.3
Career 554 200 22.9 .445 .314 .694 4.1 2.9 .6 .1 8.6

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2012 Indiana 4 0 3.0 .222 .500 .500 .0 .3 .0 .0 1.5
2013 Indiana 19 19 35.4 .408 .281 .622 7.6 3.3 1.2 .1 9.4
2014 Indiana 19 19 37.1 .455 .358 .714 6.9 4.2 .8 .2 13.6
2016 Memphis 4 0 23.8 .523 .400 .800 1.5 1.8 .3 .0 13.0
2017 Indiana 4 0 26.8 .509 .389 .750 5.3 2.8 .5 .0 16.0
2018 Indiana 7 0 21.3 .462 .308 .556 2.7 2.9 .3 .1 10.4
Career 57 38 30.5 .448 .330 .670 5.6 3.2 .8 .1 11.1

CBA[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2019–20 Liaoning 29 29 34.8 .522 .300 .778 7.4 3.8 1.1 .2 26.7
Career 29 29 34.8 .522 .300 .778 7.4 3.8 1.1 .2 26.7

Personal life[edit]

Stephenson is the son of Lance Sr. and Bernadette Stephenson.[16] He has a younger brother named Lantz.[2]

Legal issues[edit]

In January 2008, Stephenson was suspended from school for five days and missed two games following an altercation with a teammate.[71] In October that year, he was arrested for groping a 17-year-old inside the school.[72] He faced a Class B misdemeanor sexual assault charge, and his parents ended the "Born Ready" reality show following the arrest.[2]

On August 15, 2010, Stephenson was arrested for third-degree assault after allegedly pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs.[73] The case was eventually dismissed.[74]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Corcoran, Tully (October 26, 2007). "KU attracts Brooklyn star". CJOnline.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
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  4. ^ "Gunnin' for that #1 Spot". Oscilloscope Laboratories. October 21, 2008. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
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  6. ^ Abramson, Mitch (February 15, 2009). "Lance Stephenson sets scoring record as Lincoln wins Brooklyn title". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
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  8. ^ Lawlor, Chris (April 2, 2009). "Favors stars in high-flying game". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
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  10. ^ a b Halley, Jim; Zillgit, Jeff (May 20, 2009). "All-USA point guard John Wall signs with Kentucky". USA Today. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
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  12. ^ Martin, Dan (March 19, 2009). "LINCOLN STAR QUIET". New York Post. Retrieved March 19, 2009.
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  14. ^ Katz, Andy (July 1, 2009). "Hoopster Stephenson headed to Cincy". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
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  39. ^ "Stephenson's 3 lifts Hornets over Hawks in 2OT". NBA.com. November 8, 2014. Archived from the original on November 9, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  40. ^ "Ginobili, Spurs snap Hornets' 5-game winning streak". NBA.com. January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
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  42. ^ "Lance Stephenson 2015-16 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
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  44. ^ "Stephenson leads Grizzlies to 121-114 OT win over Pelicans". NBA.com. March 11, 2016. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
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  46. ^ "Lance Stephenson Injury Update". NBA.com. November 5, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
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  48. ^ "Lance Stephenson will miss anywhere from 6 to..." Twitter. November 7, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
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  50. ^ "TIMBERWOLVES SIGN GUARD LANCE STEPHENSON TO 10-DAY CONTRACT". NBA.com. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  51. ^ Zgoda, Jerry (February 15, 2017). "Lance Stephenson's grade 2 ankle sprain complicates his future with the Timberwolves". StarTribune.com. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
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  54. ^ "Pacers Sign Lance Stephenson". NBA.com. March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  55. ^ "Indiana Pacers decline team option on guard Lance Stephenson". NBA.com. June 25, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  56. ^ "Lakers Sign Lance Stephenson". NBA.com. July 10, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  57. ^ "LeBron James gets 1st win as a Laker in romp over Suns". ESPN.com. October 24, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  58. ^ "Kawhi Leonard scores 25 points, Raptors beat Lakers 111-98". ESPN.com. March 14, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2019. ...Lance Stephenson sat for the sixth time in seven games because of a sprained toe on his left foot.
  59. ^ "Flying Leopards tab Lance Stephenson". Asia-Basket.com. August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  60. ^ "The Terrific 12 Finals". EastAsiaSuperLeague.com. September 24, 2019. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  61. ^ "LiAngelo Ball, Stephenson among notables selected in G League draft". TheScore.com. October 23, 2021. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  62. ^ a b "Hawks Sign Lance Stephenson and Malcolm Hill to 10-Day Contracts". NBA.com. December 22, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  63. ^ "Pacers Sign Justin Anderson and Lance Stephenson to 10-Day Contracts". Indiana Pacers. Retrieved January 2, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  64. ^ "Sabonis scores career-high 42 to Pacers past Jazz, 125-113". espn.com. January 8, 2022. Retrieved January 9, 2022.
  65. ^ Boyd, James (January 8, 2022). "Lance Stephenson, Domantas Sabonis notch career-highs in Pacers' win over Jazz". Indy Star. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  66. ^ "Pacers Sign Lance Stephenson to Second 10-Day Contract". Indiana Pacers. Retrieved January 11, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  67. ^ "Pacers Sign Lance Stephenson to 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 16, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  68. ^ "Pacers Sign Lance Stephenson to Second 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. January 24, 2022. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  69. ^ "Pacers Sign Lance Stephenson". NBA.com. February 4, 2022. Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  70. ^ "Indiana Pacers vs Memphis Grizzlies Mar 24, 2022 Game - Scores, Stats & Highlights". NBA.com. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  71. ^ Ackert, Kristie (January 10, 2008). "Lincoln Basketball Star in Altercation". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  72. ^ Block, Dorian (October 18, 2008). "Lincoln High School hoops phenom Lance Stephenson charged with school grope". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  73. ^ "Lance Stephenson arrested in N.Y." ESPN.com. August 15, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  74. ^ Wells, Mike (April 20, 2013). "2013 NBA Playoffs: Pacers Lance Stephenson finds his way". Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on August 12, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2013.

External links[edit]