To Evolution

LeBron James approved the signing of Lance Stephenson before the Lakers advanced

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: Recreation and Sports


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    After it looked like they had won the NBA 2018 offseason with the signing of LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers made a questionable move by signing Lance Stephenson using the room exception.

    Why did it seem questionable? Well, to begin with, historically speaking, Mr. James and Mr. Stephenson do not always play well.

    It all started in 2014, during the heated confrontation of the Eastern Conference Finals between James' Miami Heat and Stephenson's Pacers. Both teams played with a fierce and competitive spirit, but Stephenson took another step when he blew James' ear.
    By then, James was already a two-time NBA champion, a four-time MVP, and father. Meanwhile, Stephenson, who was only 23 at the time, was gaining his own personality as a player.

    No doubt, now four years later, both James and Stephenson have passed the incident, right? Well ... (since April):

    James and Stephenson may never be the best friends, but James has no problem playing with Stephenson. In fact, before signing with the Lakers, Stephenson's agent approached James's camp to make sure there were no hard feelings.

    So, the good news is that there will be no problems in the dressing room. However, his adjustment on the court remains to be seen.

    James is at his best when surrounded by fencers and Stephenson, to put it politely, is not that.

    Last season with the Indiana Pacers, Stephenson shot an abysmal 28.9 percent from behind the goal, but still attempted 2.9 triples per game. According to NBA.com, of the 149 players who attempted more than 200 three-pointers last season, Stephenson ranked second-to-third in the three-point percentage, only better than Stanley Johnson and Josh Jackson. It is not ideal.

    But maybe Stephenson does other things on the court that made the head office think it would be a good option for James. We just have not seen what those things are yet.