On January 13, 2022, the day after signing his second 10-day deal with the Indiana Pacers, Lance Stephenson joined the Jim Rome Show to talk about his return to the NBA.
Lance Stephenson spoke about his performance in his third stint with the Indiana Pacers and his special bond with the fan base. Here’s a look at what Lance had to say on the show.
Stephenson made the rounds and caught media attention while making a fresh start with his Indiana Pacers.
Averaging 17.3 points per game, 8.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game when he plays in front of a home crowd, it was a great thing to watch.
It was because of his historic 20 points in the first quarter off the bench and his career high overtaking numbers, all of which reminded everyone of the energy that Lance brings in a Pacers uniform.
Stephenson was asked by the show’s host Jim Rome if he thought he was playing the best basketball of his career.
“I’m very comfortable and it’s all about communicating with the coaches and teammates to know when they are open and when they are shooting. I feel like I learned this within three days of dating these guys.
I feel like these guys just want to win and work hard. When I got in I spoke to the coach and he told me what he needed from me. I learned the pieces as quickly as possible and watched a lot of films. When you do things like that, the game becomes easier.
I feel when I got to the Pacers our communication skills were on point, ”said Stephenson.
Lance played with both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis in his previous stint with the team in the 2017/18 season. For both Sabonis and Stephenson there has certainly been an obvious chemistry on the pitch.
In the Pacers’ last win, the duo each had their own career scoring nights – Lance scored 14 career-high assists and Sabonis a career high of 42 points.
Before returning to the NBA and missing two seasons, Lance made his way overseas to play in China, then back to the NBA G-League before returning to the NBA.
Jim Rome noted that very few guys of Lance’s stature would take this route after so many years of competition at the NBA level.
“I’ll play basketball everywhere. It doesn’t matter where I play, I was on a mission to get back to the NBA. Going to the G-League … I understood it to be like sitting on the couch and just training.
I wasn’t in that game speed form. It takes a lot, the G-League got me back in shape, moving up and down and playing professional basketball again. I feel like I had to go this route to get where I am, ”said Stephenson.
Lance played for the G-League subsidiary Grand Rapids Gold of the Denver Nuggets before he was signed by the Atlanta Hawks on his first 10-day hardship contract. Stephenson shared the spot with former All-Star Isaiah Thomas in his time with the gold.
Stephenson’s connection with Indiana has always been special. He’s played in big games with this franchise and the connection between the team and Lance is special.
The two have similar personalities, says Stephenson.
“It’s like family. They saw me grow up here, they saw me become the player I am now. They just love this tough and aggressive basketball and passion – ready to do anything to win.
I felt like we connected that way because Indiana is about grind, being an underdog, and doing the dirty work to win games. We just fell in love with each other over the years (because of) this passion for basketball. “
Trivia: Lance is now in his seventh season as a member of the Indiana Pacers, meaning Myles Turner has been a member of the Pacers for as long as Lance. Both played for Indiana for seven seasons.
Lance wants 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 battle the Pheonix Suns at Gainbridge Fieldhouse’s home this Friday, January 14, 2022.