When LeBron James joined the Lakers, several other seasoned veterans followed suit. While Los Angeles was not able to lure another high-priced free agent alongside James, the team did sign experienced players who all fill specific roles.
Longtime Indiana Pacer Lance Stephenson, a noted on-court nemesis of James, was one of the first players to sign. Speaking a party to say farewell to Indianapolis, Stephenson told The Indianapolis Star that he did not personally hear from James but was aware of his interest.
“Magic (Johnson) called me and he told me LeBron was interested, very interested in me,” Stephenson said.
Stephenson, 27, is coming off a year in which he played all 82 games for the first time in his career. He averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG for Indiana off the bench while providing his usual hard-nosed yet quirky style of play.
“Give me a few hours to make this decision,” Stephenson said he told Johnson. “I decided to go there and, hopefully, we will win a lot of games and have fun.”
Check out more Pacific Division notes below:
- The Clippers‘ quest for a new arena took a positive step forward on Friday, as lawmakers approved a bill that would streamline the process, Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes.
- Suns guard Devin Booker is off to a strong start in his career and he only sees better things ahead. Speaking to a group of 300 kids at a youth camp, Booker said that he feels the playoffs are within reach, given the team’s acquisitions and young talent, Greg Moore of the AZCentral.com writes. “I want to build my own legacy here in Phoenix,” Booker said. “I feel like I’m off to a pretty good start. Just gotta keep going. Turn these losses into wins and make the playoffs and go from there.”