Indiana Pacers’ guard Lance Stephenson has become quite the topic of conversation.
It was obvious the chatter around the talented guard was going to get louder and louder after the Pacers’ season came to an end because he is set to become a restricted free agent.
Of course, no one thought that helping the Pacers take another trip to the Eastern Conference Finals could actually hurt Stephenson’s stock as a free agent.
During the Pacers loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals (the third straight season the Heat have eliminated the Pacers from the postseason), Stephenson got into a war of words with Heat star LeBron James. Stephenson claimed that he was inside of James’ head and at one point he even was caught blowing in James’ ear. Instead of getting caught up in the talk, James, with the exception of game 5 in which he got into foul trouble, was excellent while Stephenson was inconsistent. It even prompted Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel to talk about “not tugging on Superman’s cape.”
However, Stephenson tells Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star that he wants to return to Indiana.
Lance Stephenson: “I definitely want to be back. Right now I cant really, I’m not really focused on that right now…”
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) May 31, 2014
Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season while shooting 49.1% from the field, 35.2% from beyond the arc and 71.1% from the free throw line in the regular season. In the postseason, he put up 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He shot 45.5% from the field, 35.8% from three and 71.4% from the charity stripe.