Skip to content

Jim O'Brien seems to think Lance Stephenson can play some point guard

Jul 3, 2010, 1:14 PM EST

After an extended tour through the basketball hype machine, Lance Stephenson, the once highly-touted recruit out of New York’s Lincoln High, will stumble onto the NBA scene. Stephenson’s college career was predicted to be a short one, but few foresaw just how underwhelming Lance would be in his one year at Cincinnati. All of the momentum Stephenson had during his AAU career seems rather artificial in retrospect. Though he once graced the covers of hoops magazines and piqued the interest of scouts across the country, Lance was taken 40th overall by the Pacers in last month’s draft.

Regardless, it was a nice move by Indy. The second round is the place to take chances, and at this point Stephenson certainly qualifies. Still, if he ever even glimpses the potential he was once thought to possess, the Pacers could wind up with a rather capable contributor. A lot of things will have to go right for that to happen, and it’s clear that Lance will have some growing to do.

Or maybe all Stephenson really needs is a change. Not only will Lance get a change of scenery in making the move from Cincinnati to Indianapolis, but apparently Jim O’Brien fancies a position change for Lance as well. From the Associated Press:

It’s easy to see why one might take a chance on Stephenson. He’s 6-foot-5 with a powerful physique and handles that earned him the nickname, “Born Ready,” at the famed Rucker Park. He has that moniker tattooed on his right arm. “I felt like that was a great name for me because when I’m on the court, I think as soon as the ball is tipped, I’m ready,” he said. “I stuck with it.”

Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said he’s going to try Stephenson out at point guard, but he wants him to look to score first. “Our scouts — we knew right from his time in high school that he’s the kind of guy who can create his own shot, and he has great decision-making ability,” he said. “We think he’s a very talented, strong, hungry individual.” Stephenson could be part of the answer at point guard for the Pacers. T.J. Ford has fallen out of favor with the team, Earl Watson is a free agent and A.J. Price is injured.

Stephenson appears to be a good fit for Indiana’s fast-break style, but Bird said the youngster has some learning to do.

It’s hard to see Lance becoming a bonafide NBA point guard, but stranger things have happened. It certainly seems as though Indiana’s point guard obsession may have clouded their judgment a bit, but at this point it really can’t hurt to give Stephenson a shot.

  1. Albert from Brooklyn - Jul 3, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    I’ve gone on record YEARS AGO and personally told Lance’s father last winter that I feel that his son will be a PG in the NBA because hr has the best court vision I’ve seen out of young player since Lebron.

  2. Alex from Indianapolis - Jul 4, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    I hope he can play the point, he is a great player with good talent, indy could really use him.

  3. Bart114 - Jul 7, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    After watching Stephenson play for the pacers summer league team in Orlando, he’s shown the skill to be an NBA point. He’s similar to Tyreke Evans with his size, athleticism, and handle. Looks like a major steal for Indy

  4. BasketballElite.com - Aug 18, 2010 at 5:42 AM

    Here’s a video interview of Lance Stephenson from summer league:
    http://www.basketballelite.com/index.php/sports-business/lance-stephenson-interview-2010-nba-summer-league/

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Jabari Parker injury latest for disappointing rookie class
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Martin (6821)
  2. C. Bosh (6562)
  3. D. Favors (6475)
  4. A. Bogut (6186)
  5. T. Jones (6100)
  1. D. Cousins (6085)
  2. J. Noah (6072)
  3. T. Parker (6059)
  4. M. Smart (5976)
  5. D. Lee (5786)