For a couple of seasons, one of the most anticipated NBA matchups was always LeBron James and the Miami Heat against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference.
The games were physical and intense and that increased even more when the teams would meet in the playoffs, leading to a number of memorable moments. This is why it was such a surprise to see Lance Stephenson join the Los Angeles Lakers after James had signed on.
Stephenson and James had battled each other numerous times, often with some hilarious moments and outcomes because of it. The most famous of course was Stephenson blowing into James’ ear, but there were a ton of intense moments between the two. As such, imagining the two teaming up was difficult, and Dwyane Wade had a good laugh about it.
In a recent interview with Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated, Wade shared that he thought Stephenson joining the Lakers was hilarious when it happened:
Oh, I thought it was hilarious. That’s this league, bro. You never know who you’ll play with but I thought it was hilarious. We had so many battles with Indiana, and obviously Lance has been a part of a lot of stories. I thought it was funny, but that’s the NBA.
As Wade said, this is what happens in the NBA. Stephenson and James teaming up seemed impossible, but actually worked out well. Stephenson is the classic player who can be annoying to deal with as an opponent but is absolutely beloved as a teammate because of the intangibles he brings.
Ironically, Stephenson teaming with James might not have even been the weirdest sighting on the Lakers during the 2018-19 NBA season as seeing Rajon Rondo in purple and gold took some getting used to as well. But considering all that Wade saw up close and personal, it makes sense that he would have a good laugh at James and Stephenson teaming up.