After his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, there is no doubt that Lance Stephenson is a character in a league full of them.
Whether it is his celebrations when making big plays or his constant heckling of opponents, Stephenson undoubtedly stands out and can be annoying at times. The recently retired Dwyane Wade knows this all too well.
Stephenson made his name with the Indiana Pacers who were the biggest Eastern Conference foil to the ‘Big 3’ Miami Heat that boasted Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. His antics against James will forever be remembered, but Wade dealt with his fair share of Stephenson issues as well.
The 37-year-old recently spoke with Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated and called Stephenson the most annoying defender he had to face while comparing him to someone many would consider as one of the best Wade defenders:
Lance Stephenson. Lance was annoying as hell. Kirk Hinrich was annoying, but it was different. Kirk was doing his job of defending. Lance was annoying because he was doing other things he felt would get in your head. Kirk was locked in and you had to mind your p’s and q’s.
A number of players would probably say something similar about Stephenson. He is constantly talking and doing things to get in his opponent’s head. Some respond by talking back while others just completely ignore him, but it is always entertaining to the fans.
Stephenson blowing in James’ ear is the most famous of his antics, but he also had a moment with Wade in 2014. After finishing a tough layup over Wade, Stephenson stared and said a few words to him, earning a technical foul in the process which prompted a smile from his opponent.
It is these things that are basically expected when it comes to Stephenson as his passion and energy can inspire his team, but potentially have unwanted consequences. Either way, many — like Wade — simply call it annoying.