Lance Stephenson caused quite the stir with his antics throughout the 2014 postseason, highlighted by his decision to blow in the ear of then-Miami Heat superstar LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Stephenson’s incident with James has now become the first thing many think about when they hear the name of the 23-year-old shooting guard.
Lance, for one, wants that to stop and wants to be recognized more for his basketball talent now that he’s officially a Charlotte Hornet.
From Steve Reed of the AP:
Stephenson said during his introductory news conference in Charlotte on Friday he’s ”a little upset” that the ear-blowing incident in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Miami is how some people define him as a player.
Stephenson says ”I feel like it overshadowed my play on the court. I bring more to the table than just blowing in someone’s ear. I’m a great player.”
Hornets general manager Rich Cho agrees.
Stephenson is correct when he boasts of his talent. He proved to be one of the best all-around players at the shooting guard position in 2013-14, averaging 13.8 points, 4.6 assists and 7.2 rebounds with the Indiana Pacers.
However, Stephenson had to know that getting in the face of the NBA’s most famous players during a postseason game was going to garner significant attention, so it’s hard to feel too bad for him at this point.
If anything, shedding the label of an “ear blower” should motivate Stephenson to be a better player next season.
His contract with the Hornets will pay him $27 million over three years.