Lance Stephenson

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Lance Stephenson
Lance Stephenson 2010 NIT Cincinnati vs Dayton.jpg
Stephenson while attending Cincinnati in 2010
No. 1 – Los Angeles Clippers
Position Shooting guard / Small forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1990-09-05) September 5, 1990 (age 25)
Brooklyn, New York
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school Abraham Lincoln
(Brooklyn, New York)
College Cincinnati (2009–2010)
NBA draft 2010 / Round: 2 / Pick: 40th overall
Selected by the Indiana Pacers
Playing career 2010–present
Career history
20102014 Indiana Pacers
2014–2015 Charlotte Hornets
2015–present Los Angeles Clippers
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Lance Stephenson, Jr. (born September 5, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He attended Lincoln High School in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn.[1] Stephenson won city basketball championships in all four years of high school, and is New York State's all-time leading scorer in high school basketball. He was named Mr. New York Basketball after his senior year and appeared in the 2009 McDonald's All-American Game. He was drafted with the 40th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers and played for the franchise until signing with the Charlotte Hornets in 2014.

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. And 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, before the school lost in the championship game of a youth league and he did not win the tournament MVP. 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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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 to 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.[8] 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.[9]


In early 2009, Stephenson chose Kansas, St. John's and Maryland as his finalists,[10] but he canceled two announcements, and his father said that he had narrowed his choice to Maryland and Arizona.[11]

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.[12]

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]."[13] 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.[14]

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.[11]

On June 30, Andy Katz of reported that Stephenson signed a financial aid agreement with the University of Cincinnati, and he joined the Bearcats for the 2009–10 season.[15]

College career[edit]

Questions remained over Stephenson's eligibility because of his involvement in his documentary, 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.[16]

In his only season at Cincinnati, 2009–10, Stephenson started 32 of 34 games he played. He averaged 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, with a shooting percentage of .440 from the field and .664 from the free throw line. He scored a career-high 23 points against Georgetown University.

He was the leading scorer among Big East freshmen and was named Big East Rookie of the Year. The Bearcats had a record of 19-16, and their season ended in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).[17]

Professional career[edit]

Indiana Pacers (2010–2014)[edit]

2010–11 season[edit]

On April 7, 2010, Stephenson announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2010 NBA Draft.[18] He was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 40th pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. In his NBA Summer League debut, he scored 21 points, snared four rebounds and dished out three assists in an 88-77 win over the Orlando Magic in the NBA's Orlando Summer League.[19] Stephenson signed a multi-year contract with the Pacers on July 22, 2010.[20]

On February 27, 2011, Stephenson made his NBA debut for the Pacers in a game against the Phoenix Suns. He played four minutes and had two points, two assists, one rebound and one turnover.[21] Toward the end of the season, the Pacers demoted Stephenson due to ongoing immaturity issues.[22]

2011–12 season[edit]

On April 25, 2012, Stephenson recorded his first career start for the Indiana Pacers and scored 22 points against the Chicago Bulls.[23]

2012–13 season[edit]

During the 2012–13 season, Stephenson became a regular starter for the Pacers due to the injury of Danny Granger. On May 18, 2013, in game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the New York Knicks, Stephenson recorded a career-high 25 points along with 10 rebounds and three assists to lead the Pacers to a win over the Knicks and advance to the conference finals against the Miami Heat.

2013–14 season[edit]

On November 11, 2013, against the Memphis Grizzlies, Stephenson recorded his first professional triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists.[24]

Stephenson had his second career triple-double on Friday, November 22, 2013 in a Pacers win against the Boston Celtics. He had 10 points, 10 assists, and 11 rebounds. With the win, the Pacers improved their record to 11-1, their best start in franchise history.[25]

Stephenson recorded his third career triple-double, and his third of the season, on Sunday, December 22, 2013 in another Pacers win against the Celtics. He had 12 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds.[26]

On January 16, 2014, Stephenson scored a career-high 28 points in a win against the Knicks.[27]

Stephenson completed the regular season with a league-high five triple-doubles,[28] and finished second in NBA Most Improved Player Award voting to the Phoenix Suns' Goran Dragić.[29]

He and the Pacers made the playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference and advanced to the Conference Finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat for the second straight year. Stephenson drew criticisms from the press and team president Larry Bird for his trash-talking and attempts to play mind games, such as blowing in the ear of the Heat's LeBron James, with his actions deemed "not professional". However, with Stephenson entering unrestricted free agency, Bird said, "I always want him back. You just don't let talent like that walk away if you can help it," but added, "There's going to be a price and we're not going to go over that."[28] The Pacers offered him a five-year, $44 million contract, but instead Stephenson opted to test the market, believing that he was worth more.[30]

Charlotte Hornets (2014–2015)[edit]

On July 18, 2014, Stephenson signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets.[31][32] On October 29, 2014, he made his debut for the Hornets in their season opening game against the Milwaukee Bucks. In just under 40 minutes of action, he recorded 7 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists in the 108-106 overtime win.[33]

After coming into the November 7 home game against the Atlanta Hawks averaging less than seven points per game on the season, Stephenson won the game for the Hornets in double overtime with a buzzer-beating three-point shot to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 122-119. He also recorded his first double-double as a Hornets player with 17 points and 13 rebounds.[34]

On January 14, 2015, Stephenson returned from a 14-game absence due to a pelvic sprain and had 8 points in 19 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs.[35]

Los Angeles Clippers (2015–present)[edit]

On June 15, 2015, Stephenson was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes.[36] He made his debut for the Clippers in the team's season opener against the Sacramento Kings on October 28, scoring 7 points as a starter in a 111–104 win.[37] On December 2, he scored a season-high 19 points in a loss to his former team, the Indiana Pacers.[38]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  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

Regular season[edit]

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
Career 271 176 26.4 .444 .297 .669 4.5 3.3 .7 .1 8.9


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 18 18 37.2 .455 .344 .714 7.1 4.4 .9 .2 13.8
Career 41 37 33.0 .429 .315 .670 6.6 3.5 1.0 .1 10.6


Stephenson is the son of Lance, Sr. and Bernadette Stephenson.[17] He has a younger brother named Lantz.[39]

Stephenson received his "Born Ready" nickname from Bobbito García, a courtside announcer at Rucker Park, in the summer of 2006 during a game against older players. Stephenson had just played in a youth all-star game as the only rising sophomore out of the 24 top high school players in the nation, and the adult game that followed was a player short. Garcia said, "I'd seen him go up against seasoned NBA veterans, seasoned college cats, high school kids two or three years older than he was, and he was always reppin', so I just called it. He's Born Ready." Stephenson tattooed the nickname on his right biceps, and also allowed a video crew to document his life for an online reality show titled "Born Ready".[4]

Off-court troubles[edit]

In January 2008, Stephenson was suspended from school for five days and missed two games following an altercation with a teammate.[40] In October that year, he was arrested for groping a 17-year-old inside the school.[41] 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.[42] The case was eventually dismissed.[43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Corcoran, Tully. "KU attracts Brooklyn star", The Topeka Capital-Journal, October 26, 2007. Accessed September 17, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e Armstrong, Kevin (March 30, 2009). "What's next for Lance Stephenson? The world will find out soon". Sports Illustrated. 
  3. ^ a b Begley, Ian (March 21, 2009). "Lance Stephenson leads Lincoln to unprecedented fourth-straight crown". New York Daily News. 
  4. ^ a b Zengerle, Jason (April 15, 2009). "Empty Garden: Why did New York stop growing basketball stars?". The New Republic. 
  5. ^ "Oscilloscope Laboratories". Gunnin Movie. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  6. ^ "USA Today's All-USA team". 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  7. ^ Abramson, Mitch (February 15, 2009). "Lance Stephenson sets scoring record as Lincoln wins Brooklyn title". New York Daily News. 
  8. ^ "SThe best of the Big Apple: News hands out more high school honors". New York Daily News. May 12, 2009. 
  9. ^ Lawlor, Chirs (April 2, 2009). "Favors stars in high-flying game". RISE ( 
  10. ^ Begley, Ian; Mark Lelinwalla (March 26, 2009). "Sources: Lincoln star Lance Stephenson leaning toward Kansas over St. John's". New York Daily News. 
  11. ^ a b Halley, Jim; Jeff Zillgit (May 20, 2009). "All-USA point guard John Wall signs with Kentucky". USA Today. 
  12. ^ Prisbell, Eric; Steve Yanda (March 1, 2009). "Shoe Company's Ties With Maryland, Link to Top Recruit Raise Questions". The Washington Post (Washington Post). p. D01. 
  13. ^ Martin, Dan (March 19, 2009). "LINCOLN STAR QUIET". New York Post. 
  14. ^ Yanda, Steve (April 23, 2009). "Henry Chooses Kansas; Stephenson Still Deciding". Terrapin Insider (The Washington Post). 
  15. ^ Katz, Andy (June 30, 2009). "Hoopster Stephenson headed to Cincy". Rise ( 
  16. ^ "NCAA clears Lance Stephenson to play at Cincinnati". Associated Press. November 6, 2009. 
  17. ^ a b Lance Stephenson Bio
  18. ^ Lelinwalla, Mark (April 7, 2010). "Former Lincoln star Lance Stephenson to declare for NBA draft after one season at Cincinnati". New York: 
  19. ^ "Indiana Pacers - Indianapolis Star". Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  20. ^ "Pacers sign Stephenson". July 22, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Phoenix at Indiana | Sunday February 27, 2011 | NBA - Yahoo! Sports". Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  22. ^ "Indiana Pacers - Indianapolis Star". Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  23. ^ "Notebook: Bulls 92, Pacers 87". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. April 25, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  24. ^ "Indiana Pacers advance to 8-0 behind Lance Stephenson's triple-double as they defeat Memphis 95-79". November 11, 2013. 
  25. ^ top Celtics, move to 11-1 "Pacers top Celtics, move to 11-1" Check |url= value (help). November 23, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Lance Dances His Way to Triple-Double | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS". Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  27. ^ "New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers - Box Score - January 16, 2014 - ESPN". Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  28. ^ a b "NBA Player Double Doubles Statistics - 2013-14n". Associated Press. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  29. ^ Matt, Dollinger (April 23, 2014). "Suns’ Goran Dragic wins NBA’s Most Improved Player Award". Point Forward ( Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  30. ^ "Sources: Pacers' offer not enough". ESPN Internet Ventures. July 2, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  31. ^ "Hornets Sign Lance Stephenson". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 18, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  32. ^ "Hornets sign Lance Stephenson". ESPN Internet Ventures. July 18, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  33. ^ Walker lifts Hornets over Bucks in OT, 108-106
  34. ^ Stephenson's 3 lifts Hornets over Hawks in 2OT
  35. ^ Ginobili, Spurs snap Hornets' 5-game winning streak
  36. ^ "Clippers Acquire Lance Stephenson from Hornets". June 15, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Griffin leads Clippers past Kings 111-104 in opener". October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  38. ^ Lance Stephenson 2015-16 Game Log
  39. ^ "What's next for Lance Stephenson? The world will find out soon". CNN. March 30, 2009. 
  40. ^ Ackert, Kristie (January 10, 2008). "Lincoln Basketball Star in Altercation". New York Daily News. 
  41. ^ Block, Dorian (October 18, 2008). "Lincoln High School hoops phenom Lance Stephenson charged with school grope". New York Daily News. 
  42. ^ "Lance Stephenson arrested in N.Y.". August 15, 2010. 
  43. ^ Wells, Mike (April 20, 2013). "2013 NBA Playoffs: Pacers Lance Stephenson finds his way". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 

External links[edit]