The 26-year-old Fresno State product called out his teammate, via Malika Andrews of Yahoo! Sports, for the lack of control he has on himself during games, especially during important stretches of it. However, he made it clear that he understands where he’s coming from as Stephenson plays with a lot of passion.
“He’s got to learn to control himself. He’s got to learn to just be in the moment. We all know that Lance is an emotional guy, and a lot of it is just his heart and his competitiveness.”
Stephenson’s style of play has also drawn criticism even from sports journalists. ESPN’s Ryen Russillo recently came up with a comparison, between his demeanor on the court, and how LaVar Ball thinks.
Lance Stephenson plays the way LaVar Ball thinks.
— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) April 18, 2017
There is no doubt that Stephenson is a very talented player. He has the skill set needed to have a long career in the NBA, but he just needs to work on keeping himself in check, and start showing a lot of maturity during games. With the Pacers now facing a 2-0 deficit against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, George is hoping his strong words will serve as a wake up call to him to change his ways. Should he be successful in doing so, it will be a huge boost to the team, and will make their unenviable task of upsetting the Cavs easier to achieve.