Today it’s Lance Stephenson. The Dadball Era is here to help when the kids come a’questionin’. Because they certainly will.
Who is Lance Stephenson?
Not a “who,” son. A what.
What is Lance Stephenson?
The Pacers’ half ThunderCat, half fever dream, half V-78 engine block with long arms and fantastic court vision.
That’s three halves. That doesn’t make sense.
Nothing about Lance Stephenson makes sense. Never did, never will. He is a woofing, selfish, selfless, turnover-prone, walking Shel Silverstein poem capable of outlandish, nonsensical things—fun things, mostly, like a 26-foot finger roll for no real reason. Or morphing into a centaur. Or recording the NBA’s first-ever sextuple-double in only eight-and-a-half minutes. I enjoy watching Lance quite a bit. We all do. Until he inevitably pushes an unwise 1-on-19 fast break or some such. But then we love him all over again when he eats the scorer’s table or grabs 10 consecutive rebounds or punctures the ball with his bare hands. He is never uninteresting.
How do you know all this? Didn’t he just join the Pacers, like, a week ago?
Rejoined, son. Rejoined. He hath returned—somehow, some way—like an avalanche crashing and clawing its way back up the mountainside, to where it began and lived and thrived many eons ago, against the laws of physics and everything else known to be possible within this physical realm. He is the Prodigal Avalanche, if that makes sense.
It doesn’t. Where did he go when he left the Pacers in 2014?
To Charlotte. That was like 45 years ago. Then to Los Angeles. Then to the Memphis Grizzlies. Then he trained with Ra’s al Ghul in the League of Shadows, learning to embrace and weaponize the dark chaos that lives in the hearts of men. And then he went to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a short while. And now he is home, where he belongs.
Is he good?
One cannot label Lance as merely “good” or “bad” or “shape-shifting into a raven” or “perfect karate-kicking outlet passes to streaking guards.” Those descriptions are far too simplistic. Lance can be all of those things at once while also being many, many more. It’s complicated.
Is he the reason why the Pacers made the playoffs!?
Yes. No? Probably. Maybe? I don’t know, probably not. (YES, HE IS!) It doesn’t matter, though, because he is the reason why the Pacers will suddenly be very much fun to watch when they play the Cavs on Saturday.