Ex-Pacer Lance Stephenson Inks Deal with Lakers, Joins LeBron James
LOS ANGELES--Two NBA players that have been known as enemies are now allies.
On the same day the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, ex-Indiana Pacer Lance Stephenson is joining forces with him.
James signed a 4-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers early Sunday afternoon.
Late Sunday night, Stephenson signed a 1-year, $4.5 million contract with the Lakers. The Pacers declined his $4.4 million team option in June.
Stephenson released a statement on Twitter:
— Lance Stephenson (@StephensonLance) July 2, 2018
After being drafted in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft, Stephenson made a name for himself in four seasons in Indiana. He then signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets.
From 2014 to 17, Stephenson played for six different teams before coming back to Indiana.
Stephenson, 27, has been known in the past as a LeBron antagonist, and the two have had testy moments in the playoffs. James says he has never had a personal issue with Stephenson.
The most notable moment between the two came in the Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals when Stephenson blew into James' ear. James was playing for the Miami Heat and Stephenson was in his first stint with the Pacers.
Stephenson helped the Pacers make the playoffs this past season. He averaged 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He averaged 10 points per game in the first round playoff series against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland beat the Pacers in that series 4-3.
(PHOTO: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)