One of the first signings the Los Angeles Lakers made after coming to terms with LeBron James was former Indiana Pacers wing Lance Stephenson. This came as a shock to many as Stephenson has been a major thorn in the side of James over the past few years.
Most famously, he once blew into James’ ear during a playoff game, but there have been plenty of other dust-ups between the two that have led to some pushing.
The two having to now work together will be something many will keep an eye on. Stephenson himself believes that to be the truth as well.
The Score recently debuted its “Misunderstood series,” which focused on Stephenson in the debut episode.
Stephenson spoke about James and said he believes that he finally began to get in his head this past season, and added being teammates will be a different dynamic:
“I think the closest to me getting him frustrated was [the 2018 season]. He started, like, talking back or pushing me and stuff. He would never say anything, until this year. It was like, ‘What’s wrong with you? I’m tired of this [expletive.]’ It was to that point, where I was like man, ‘I think I’m really getting to him now.’ It’s going to be different actually shaking his hand and working from him, learning from him, seeing him every day.”
One thing that Stephenson and James share is an intense competitive spirit. Stephenson isn’t afraid of anyone, and James will surely appreciate that on his side now. Much like Kobe Bryant wanting Matt Barnes and Metta World Peace on the Lakers after issues the previous year, the partnership could work seamlessly.
In the end, the two share a common goal of wanting to win a championship and that ultimately trumps everything else.