Of all their signings to fill out the roster around LeBron James, arguably the most peculiar addition the Los Angeles Lakers made was inking Lance Stephenson. Aside from being unpredictable on the court, Stephenson was known for being a James agitator.
From blowing in James’ ear to flopping whenever making contact with him, Stephenson has both entertained and flummoxed at various points in his career. But when focused, Stephenson is more than capable of providing valuable minutes, particularly off the bench.
James has also seen that aspect firsthand, and it’s for that reason he’s fully in support of the signing Stephenson, as well as Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley.
With training camp and the start of the season rapidly approaching, Stephenson has been among those getting regular work in the gym. That’s grown to include playing pickup basketball, which Stephenson shared a clip of and more.
When questioned about their approach to assemble a team around James, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka explained they focused on adding playmakers who could also have an impact on both ends of the court.
Pelinka cited the Houston Rockets and their versatility as being key to giving the Golden State Warriors all they could handle in the Western Conference Finals. Although the Lakers don’t have set starters beyond James, they presumably intend for Stephenson to come off the bench.