The last time the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat played, Lance Stephenson gained an unfortunate social stigma with his name. Stephenson was caught blowing in LeBron James’ ear during the NBA playoffs, and ever since then, the public has viewed Stephenson unfavorably.
Stephenson has been fighting to break away from this negative association and bring the focus back to his basketball skills.
“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,” Stephenson said, according to Daily News.
The Source reported that Stephenson does have skills to show, which is why he has signed with the Hornets for the next three seasons. The contract is set for $27 million, and Hornets General Manager Rich Cho believes Stephenson’s talents are worth every penny.
Many wonder why Stephenson used such immature tactics if he is capable of so much more.
“During the series, I was trying to play hard against LeBron and help my team win. I’m very competitive, and I know some of the antics were over the border—but I was just trying to do whatever it takes to win,” Stephenson explained, according to The Source.
Cho does not seem to be worried about Stephenson’s intentions, saying, “I think he’ll be a great fit” for the team, according to Daily News.
It appears that Stephenson still has a long way to go if he wants to completely rid his reputation of the ear incident, but with a promising career ahead, he might only be one big play away from just that.