This may sound funny coming from someone who was admittedly shocked, confused, and crushed when Lance Stephenson left the Pacers for the Charlotte Hornets in the offseason…but bear with me while I try to explain it.
The Indiana Pacers are down on their luck right now. They’re down players, down points, and down games from where they would like to be. This is quickly turning into more of a rebuilding year than any of us would have hoped for.
But there is one thing the Pacers are not…desperate. And that is exactly what they would be if they make a deal with the Hornets to bring Lance back, as the media is speculating.
As it turns out, Lance (the locker room killer, ball hog, drama queen, and yes…LeBron James ear blower) is not such a good fit in Charlotte. It seems his locker room killing, ball hogging, drama queen ways are viewed as much less charming there. Because just twenty-some games into the 82-game regular season, the Hornets are already shopping a deal for Lance Stephenson. And one of the first names to surface in a possible trade…the Indiana Pacers.
Now, let’s not get crazy here.
This is the guy who expressed nothing but love, appreciation, and respect for the Pacers organization, stating that he knew his best chance of success was with them. And yet, he chose (for not significantly more money) the Hornets over the Pacers when it came time to sign on the line.
I know. I’m sure the wooing skills of Hornets owner/former NBA Star Michael Jordan are off the charts (on the court and off), but still. Embarrassing gaffes and all, while the rest of the league began to view Lance Stephenson as a douchebag, the Pacers embraced him. The fans rallied around him. He was family.
But he’s not family anymore. When Lance moved on to the Hornets, I decided he was somebody else’s problem. I enjoyed watching a new crop of young Pacers players get their opportunity and make the most of it. And they did it unselfishly by trusting each other, sharing the ball, and using teamwork to get the job done. They reminded me of a group of young Pacers I used to know.
And that reminded me of something my sister once told me about an old boyfriend. She said, “Heather, if he lets you go, he can’t have you back.”
We cheered for Lance. We defended Lance. We embraced Lance.
Lance let us go.
And now, the Hornets are preparing to let him go.
It’s time for Lance to figure out why that is.
Without the Pacers giving him a soft place to land.
Good luck, Lance.
And GO PACERS!