On January 13, 2022, a day after signing his second 10-day contract with the Indiana Pacers, Lance Stephenson joined the Jim Rome Show to discuss his return to the NBA.
Lance Stephenson opened up about his performance on his third stint with the Indiana Pacers and his special bond with the fans. Here’s a look at what Lance had to say on the show.
Stephenson was doing the rounds, gaining media attention as he blossomed into a fresh start with his Indiana Pacers.
Average of 17.3 points per game, 8.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game when playing in front of the home crowd, he has been great to watch.
That’s because of his historic 20-point first quarterback off the bench and career-high number of assists that reminded everyone of the energy that comes with Lance in the Pacers’ uniform.
Show host Jim Rome asked Stephenson if he thought he played one of the best basketballs of his career.
“I feel like I’m very comfortable and it’s all about communication with the coaches and teammates, knowing when they’re going to be open and when they’re going to shoot. I feel like I learned that within three days of these guys.
I feel like these guys just want to win and work hard, so when I got there I talked to the coach and he told me what he needed from me. I learned the parts as quickly as possible, watched a lot of movies. When you do things like this, the game will become easier.
I felt like when I got to the Pacers our communication skills were up to scratch, ”said Stephenson.
Lance played with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis during his previous stint with the team in the 2017-18 season. There has certainly been an obvious chemistry on the pitch for Sabonis and Stephenson.
In the Pacers’ last win, the duo each had their own career-defining nights – Lance scoring 14 assists and Sabonis 42 points, a career-high.
Before making his return to the NBA, after missing two seasons, Lance traveled abroad to play in China, then returned to the NBA G-League before his return to the NBA.
Jim Rome noted that very few guys of Lance’s stature would take that route after so many years of competing at the NBA level.
“I’ll play basketball anywhere. No matter where I play, my mission was to get back to the NBA. Going to the G-League… I took it like, I was sitting on the couch, just practicing.
I wasn’t in that form of speed of play. It takes a lot, the G-League got me back in shape, got me up and down and played professional basketball again. I felt like I needed to go down that route to get to where I am right now, ”said Stephenson.
Lance played for the Denver Nuggets’ G-League affiliate, Grand Rapids Gold before being signed to his first 10-day hardship contract by the Atlanta Hawks. Stephenson shared the pitch with former All-Star Isaiah Thomas during his stint with gold.
Stephenson’s bond with Indiana has always been special. He’s played in big games with this franchise and the bond between the team and Lance is special.
The two have similar personalities, Stephenson says.
“It’s like a family. They saw me grow up here, watch me become the player that I am now. They love that tough, aggressive basketball and that passion – desperate to win.
I felt like we were connected that way because Indiana is all about grinding, being an underdog, and doing the dirty work to win games. We’ve just fallen in love with each other over the years (because of) this passion for basketball. “
Fun fact: Lance is now in his seventh season as a member of the Indiana Pacers, which means Myles Turner has been a member of the Pacers since the same time as Lance. They both played seven seasons for Indiana.
Lance is looking to end the year in a Pacers uniform, not just another 10-day contract. According to NBA correspondent Marc Stein, the Indiana Pacers are expected to sign Lance Stephenson for the remainder of the season after his 10-day contract ends on Monday.
We’ll see Stephenson next when the Pacers face the Pheonix Suns at home this Friday, January 14, 2022, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.