If one thing is clear is that Lance Stephenson does not want to be playing in Puerto Rico right now. After 10 years in the NBA, the athlete openly misses the league’s spotlight and is already hoping for his potential return.
“I definitely miss the NBA now that I am playing in Puerto Rico. I did not want to leave. So my goal right now is to get back in there and show them that I am born ready,” he recently told The Post.
The 32-year-old, who was born in Brooklyn, last played for both the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021/22 campaign, but wasn’t able to earn a roster spot for the past season. This is why this last spring, he played four matches with the Leones de Ponce of Puerto Rico.
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) July 25, 2023
“I don’t feel like it was a personal jab towards me to no longer be in the NBA,” he shared. “There is a lot of great players. So for me not to be in the NBA right now it is OK because I know it is just another chance. There are guys coming up so I am always able to get back in there as long as I work hard.”
One of his most memorable moments in the NBA was back when he blew in LeBron James’ ear during Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. Lance would have no idea that 4 years later he would be The King’s teammate with the Lakers.
When he dreams about his return to the sport’s biggest stage, he has only two teams in mind. “I think it is time for a New York team. I want to play for the [Brooklyn] Nets or the Knicks, either one would do,” Stephenson confessed.
The player, who was drafted by the Pacers in the 2010 draft’s second round, has never played with a team from the Big Apple after representing the Hornets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Timberwolves and more.
“I feel like I did enough for people to remember me and know me as one of the top players that played in New York,” he said. “I feel like I am just New York.”
This weekend Stephenson spoke about the main differences between street-ballers and NBA players
The former NBA shooting guard appeared this Sunday at the AND1 30th anniversary for NYC Open Run Tour in Harlem, and spoke about the main differences between NBA players and street-ballers.
“It is a different type of game when it comes to street ball and playing in the NBA,” Lance explained. “You have to know the game. Playing in the NBA you can’t use a lot of the street-ball stuff. You got to know how to do it. It is just a difference between playing super organized and playing street ball.”
Check out why Stephenson is considered a memorable NBA athlete with some of his best on- and off-court highlights:
The six-foot-six wing says that even if you don’t make to the NBA, there are other ways where you can make basketball your life.
“You can use basketball to get into college, get four years in college and from there you will be able to do other things besides basketball,” he said. “So I tell kids whatever it is you do just go as hard as you can to make it into college and get a scholarship.”
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