Andrew Bynum instigated 2014 fight between Evan Turner, Lance Stephenson
The Indiana Pacers were one of the best teams in the NBA back in 2014 and appeared to be on their way to seriously contending for their first championship since their ABA days. Unfortunately, drama hit their locker room and the Pacers went on a massive slide to end the season. They ended up falling to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
One of the big news pieces coming out during their slide was the fight in practice between Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner. No explanation for the fight was given at the time, but Turner dished on the fight in a recent interview.
As detailed in an interview shared by Akeem Glaspie of the Indianapolis Star, Turner talked about how former Pacers’ big man Andrew Bynum actually instigated the fight.
“What really happened was — I don’t know if I was guarding Lance or Lance was guarding me — we’re guarding each other, we’re going over offensive plays. Andrew Bynum, it was partially his fault. … Lance must of scored and Bynum was like, ‘Oooh, easy!’ And I think I had to guard Lance again. I might’ve tripped him or something, and Bynum’s kinda hyping it a bit like, ‘Oooh!'”
Turner continued talking about how Bynum egged the two of them on.
“I think Lance tried to move me back. … Tried to little boy me. I slapped the ball down.
Before that, Lance said something to Bynum like, ‘He ain’t got the heart I got.’ Something along the lines of getting under your skin. Lance is from New York. I’m from Chicago. New Yorkers they may talk a little more and it means nothing to them, as opposed to me, I might take that more serious.”
That’s when the two of them decided to get physical with each other.
“When it comes down, I think Lance tries to big boy me with an elbow. I slapped the ball down, so Bynum was like, ‘Dammnnn!’ So when I turned around Lance’s finger is like, ‘Yo, don’t ever do that again.’ When he put his finger in my face, I push him back. He fakes a punch and then we both grab each other’s necks and David West broke it up. … Lance had nails so he scratched me.”
He closed it out talking about how the Pacers were that season and what team he felt that he joined.
“So much was going on with that Pacers team during that time. I got there in February. During that time a lot of pressure was building up. Honestly around this time, Indy had gone from being just Indy to being mini Hollywood. When I show up they’re on GQ Magazine. Paul (George) is rated a top 3 player in the league. … When it comes down to it, with pressure you ever make diamonds or bust pipes.”
Indiana fans may not feel much better about the news now that they know what happened. It was drama that didn’t need to happen and rotted the team from within.
All of that being said, the page has turned in Indiana. Victor Oladipo and the new group have restored the love and passion that fans can vibe with. Indiana may not be a championship contender right now, but they are building in the right direction.