Lance Stephenson says playing in Indiana is like ‘playing in front of family’
The Los Angeles Lakers have made their way to Indianapolis for Tuesday night’s matchup against the Pacers. For most players involved, it’s just another regular season game. For Lance Stephenson, however, it’s a chance to play in front of the fans he came to love.
Stephenson has played two stints with the Pacers over the course of his career. The former McDonald’s All-American spoke with members of the media about facing his former team after Tuesday morning’s shootaround.
“I’ll be playing in front of a lot of friends,” Stephenson said. “It’s like family here, so it’s gonna be an incredible game tonight.
“It’s like playing in front of your family,” Stephenson added. “When I play out here, it’s just a different type of environment. They want you to do great at all times. When the fans are like that, you bring it every night. I definitely love playing here.”
Stephenson and LeBron James have had their differences in the past, but they’ve buried that hatchet, and now they’re both wearing purple and gold. Though they were once Eastern Conference rivals, James says he respects the work that Stephenson put in as a member of the Pacers organization.
“Lance is always pretty hyped anyways,” James said. “That’s just his passion for the game of basketball. He loves to play the game. We’re happy to have him on our side.
“We know (Lance) has a pretty good fan base from the time that he spent here – the work that he put in while he was with the Pacers. I’m excited to see him play tonight.”
Stephenson has been a fine addition for the Lakers. The 28-year-old has made 52 appearances off the bench with the team this season, racking up averages of 7.5 points on 44.6 percent shooting from the field (39.3 percent from beyond the arc), 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 16.0 minutes per outing.
Tuesday night’s Lakers-Pacers game is scheduled to tip inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 7:00 p.m. ET. Let’s see if the crowd gives Lance an ovation.