Lance Stephenson signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers soon after the team was able to convince LeBron James to sign a four-year deal. It was a move that shook the NBA, mainly because of the history between Stephenson and James. As most NBA fans know, Stephenson and James have gotten into it multiple times in the past, especially during the Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat playoff series a few years back.
Now, fans in Los Angeles are wondering what kind of impact Stephenson will have on their team. Look no further, we are going to dive into why Stephenson was exactly the kind of move the Lakers needed to make.
Last season with the Pacers, Stephenson came off the bench for a team that shocked the NBA following the Paul George trade. He struggled at times, but for the most part was a huge part of the culture that made Indiana such a good basketball team.
He averaged 9.2 points per game, but his impact was much more than that. Stephenson’s energy and hard-working attitude was infectious for Indiana. In addition to those characteristics, he also chipped in 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, according to ESPN statistics.
Indiana fans love Stephenson and he has a way of earning your respect when you watch him play on your team. His love for the game and antics, both on and off the court, are entertaining, to say the least.
All of that being said, why was Stephenson such a good signing for the Lakers?
Stephenson Will Bring the Hard Work and Energy
One thing that will never be said about Stephenson is that he doesn’t work hard or bring energy to a game. There were multiple times last season in Indiana where Stephenson would come into the game and lead a comeback, especially in front of the home crowd. Playing in Los Angeles on one of the biggest stages in basketball will bring out the best in him.
Playmaking Off of the Bench
Stephenson has also proven himself to be a great playmaker for his teammates. While there are times that he will force a shot and frustrate the fans, he is a more than willing passer that makes fancy dimes on a consistent basis. That will fit well for the Lakers’ second unit.
Entertainment – Plain and Simple
In a market like Los Angeles, the more entertainment the better. That is exactly why Indiana loved Stephenson and his energy and entertainment will help the Lakers as well. Stephenson and James will be even more fun to watch when they’re on the court together, which many NBA fans are already getting excited about.
Expect to see Stephenson play a fairly big role off the bench for the Lakers. He isn’t going to be a major scorer, but he will be asked to impact the game as a playmaker and consistent threat off the bench.