Shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James to officially begin free agency, they surprisingly added his antagonist, Lance Stephenson.
Highlighted by Stephenson blowing in James’ ear during the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, the former recently admitted it is ‘actually funny’ they are teammates now.
As James has been surrounded by shooters for most of his career, the Lakers are going in a different path, and Stephenson is the definition of a tough-minded playmaker they looked to fill out their roster with.
While there was an initial report of James personally recruiting Stephenson, the 27-year-old revealed that was not the case, according to Dana Benbow of IndyStar:
There has been a bit of a misunderstanding, Stephenson said, on how the whole Lakers request came about. James didn’t personally call him after signing his four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers over the offseason.
“Magic (Johnson) called me and he told me LeBron was interested, very interested in me,” Stephenson said. As a teammate.
With Stephenson looking forward to playing with James, he is putting in the work during the offseason to be a good fit. While playmaking is Stephenson’s greatest strength, it appears he is improving upon his career 30.3 percent shooting from the three-point line.
Heading into the 2018-19 NBA season, there has been a wide range of projections for the Lakers. As Stephenson is looking to prove he can be productive outside of his time with the Indiana Pacers, James is looking to help the Lakers win championships again.