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Lance Stephenson ‘mad’ at All-Star snub

Feb 1, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers Getty Images

It can be argued that Lance Stephenson was among the players most deserving of All-Star status in the Eastern Conference who was ultimately left off the roster.

Kyle Lowry of the Raptors also belongs in that discussion, but Stephenson’s overall play this season with averages of 14.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists on one of the league’s top teams had most feeling he had a legitimate shot at one of the reserve spots.

It didn’t shake out that way, and the ever-honest Stephenson had no trouble expressing his displeasure over being left out.

From Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star:

But there was still anger beneath the surface less than 24 hours after Stephenson’s learned NBA coaches did not vote him as a reserve to the Eastern Conference all-star team.

“I’m mad,” Stephenson said. “I feel like I had my breakout year last year. I showed I can play with anyone on the floor and I felt like this year, I brought a little bit more to my game.

“But other people saw it differently. I’m just going to keep working hard and prove everyone wrong.”

Stephenson would have been the third member of the Pacers to get in, joining Paul George (voted in as a starter) and Roy Hibbert (named as a reserve). That wouldn’t have been unprecedented for a team with such a strong start to the season, especially when you consider just how dreadful the level of play has been in the Eastern Conference.

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Either Joe Johnson or Paul Millsap are the names that stand out as ones Stephenson would have replaced had he made the squad, but neither is a particularly egregious selection.

  1. timb12 - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    The coach picks the reserves right? So he got snubbed by his own coach. That’s messed up.

    • irvfin3 - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      Coaches weren’t allowed to vote for their respective players

      • timb12 - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Ah okay. That makes more sense then.

  2. 00maltliquor - Feb 1, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    He definitely deserved it over Hibbert.

    • casualcommenter - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Hibbert is the key to their defense, though. I would’ve had Lance replace Joe Johnson.

      Johnson is averaging 15 pts, 3 rbs, 3 assists per game this year, and his team is bad.
      Lance is putting up better stats (14 pts, 7 rbs, 5 assists), plays better defense, and he is contributing to one of only 2 good teams in the East.

      Pacers and Heat are the only 2 teams that matter in the East this year, so I would’ve had no problems with each team sending 3 players.

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 3, 2014 at 3:45 AM

        you speak truth

  3. mydoglouie - Feb 1, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Boo freakin’ hoo!

  4. sportsfan18 - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Joe Johnson has PER of 14.9 so far this season.

    A league average PER is 15.0.

    Joe is just average, not close to being an all star. And his PER was only 14.1 last season so it’s not as if he was riding some high from a fantastic season last year either. His career PER is only 16.2 which means he’s a tad above average.

    Lance’s PER so far this season is only 15.9 which isn’t much better than Joe’s.

    I don’t think either Joe or Lance should be on the all star team, although Lance is trending in the right direction.

    This is his 4th season and his PER has gone up each season.

    I do not agree with Lance that he broke out last season. His PER was only 11.8 last season which means he was well below league average.

    • metalhead65 - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      your use of metrics is the reason I have no use for them. have no idea what per is or care to. watch the game and you can see if the guy is good or not. you say last year was not a breakout year? when you look at his first 2 years how can you say last year was not? and he has only gotten better this year. other players may have better metrics but where are there teams at in the standings? if Lance was about stats instead of team he would be doing even better but I think he is pretty happy with what he has done and where his team is at and so are Pacer fans.

      • angrytwitterguy - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        Said a bunch of clueless baseball people over a decade ago

      • sportsfan18 - Feb 2, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        math isn’t difficult to follow or understand…

        I’m in my late 40’s and love all the fancy metrics…

        teams know what a player shoot percentage wise on each area of the floor, where they SHOULD be shooting and where they shouldn’t etc…

        WHY should a coach call for a last shot and give it to a guy and set up the play to have him shoot where he is the WORST at shooting the ball from?

        these teams use these stats to give them the BEST chance to win.

        if you were coaching a team, you’d give the other team a much better chance to beat your bunch by not taking into account the many real benefits of knowing and using advanced stats…

    • peterjohnjoseph - Feb 1, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      Dude, he’s a shooting guard that is currently leading the best team in the league in assists and second in rebounding ( a SHOOTING GUARD), and third in scoring. What in gods name do you want? He’s a triple double threat every night. I shove metrics down peoples throats too, but in this situation you’re making the entire idea of metrics look bad.

    • geefors - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Joe Jackson is one of the most overrated players in the league he did all of his a damage with the suns while he nash was there. Nash made Amare and Johnson and neither have been the same since they didnt have him

  5. tmdill18 - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    I’m a long time Pacer fan. Have seen 90% of the games this year. Lance’s game has come a long way and he has made big contributions to the Pacer’s improved record. But he is still very immature on the court. He celebrates every assist and basket. When he gets on a roll he over dribbles on consecutive possessions. He stares down referees on every call not going his way. Any time he hits the floor, he lays there writhing in pain. He is just immature, and he says that he will not change. Basically, he has no problem with showing up opposing players &coaches and refs. So I can see why he would get snubbed. He needs to work at being a professional instead of acting like a punk.

  6. xli2006 - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Lance’s numbers are DOUBLE Joe Johnson’s in Reb and Assists and shooting at a higher % w/ identical scoring. Lance also has a league high 4 Triple Doubles.

    The Coaches are to blame for this debacle.

    Lance played like an All Star and the Coaches jobbed him. This is kind of ridiculous honestly. Skill and production should be the basis for All Star nods, they clearly made a mistake here.

  7. tmdill18 - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Pacer fan here. Have seen almost every game this year. Lance has improved his game big time, but is still very immature. His antics on the court get old. Celebrates assists and baskets with dances and shoulder shakes. It’s ridiculous. Stares down referees at least a few times each game. He lays writhing in pain any time he hits the floor. He shows up refs and opposing players. I can see why other coaches would snub him. And he says he doesn’t plan to change anything. Then don’t whine when you get snubbed.

  8. antistratfordian - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    He thinks he had a “breakout” year last year? Ha! Delusional. He’s close to having a breakout year this year, though. But I like seeing him cry like this. Cry more, Lance.

    • adamsjohn714 - Feb 1, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      Close to having a breakout year this year? He’s playing incredible basketball. His scoring, rebounding, assists, FG%, 3Pt%, Ft%, FTA, TS%, Points per Shot, have all increased. Along with all those improvements he’s had a slight decrease in blocks (which were so minimal in the first place as to be negligible), steals, turnovers (understandable with the increased assists and at a better AST:TO rate). Massive improvements, small drops. I’d call that a breakout year.

      • antistratfordian - Feb 3, 2014 at 3:12 AM

        The season is only at the halfway point. You won’t be so certain about this in April if he doesn’t maintain his production. So he still has some work to do.

    • adamsjohn714 - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      It’s March 22 and his stats are still remarkably better than last year (per 48 minutes of course. I wouldn’t want you to think that I believed his numbers were only up because he’s playing more).

  9. vikesdynasty - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Shut up bruh. You’re making an awesome team sound like a bag of tools.

  10. jolink653 - Feb 1, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    The fact that Kobe got voted in as an All Star starter shows how much of a joke the All Star game is. It’s entirely a popularity contest, not based on merit. Stephenson should absolutely be on the team

  11. spliff219 - Feb 1, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    That is B.S and im a bulls fan.

  12. elwaysagenius - Feb 1, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    I think Lowry was more deserving over Derozan, and Lance in over “Iso” Joe.

    • adamsjohn714 - Feb 1, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      exactly. Plus I’d take Drumnmond over Hibbert. Way better FG%, and they score just about the same amount of points per 48 (19.2 to 18.6). WAAAAYYY better rebounding, both defensively and offensively. Plus it’s the All-Star game and people want to see monstrous dunks and not 7 footers with set shots. Hibbert is an understandable choice, but Drummond would’ve been better.

  13. zickhead - Feb 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    It was a snub but not as bad as Dragic not making it.

  14. kinggw - Feb 1, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    I can understand Stephenson thinking he should be an all star. I don’t understand him being mad about it.

    IMO, he’s not more deserving than Joe Johnson who was the driving force behind his team turning around their season. He’s not more deserving than Kyle Lowly who has been under the radar good all season long on a team that doesn’t garner much attention. He’s also not more deserving than Aaron Afflalo who is having a better season all together.

    Stephenson’s all star candidacy is based on the strength of his team’s record, his triple doubles, and the idea among some that since the Heat have three all stars, the Pacers should have three all stars. Stephenson is having a good year, he’s not an all star.

    • adamsjohn714 - Feb 1, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      The driving force behind his team’s 20-24 record should get in. Amazing. One of the main contributors behind the best record in the NBA shouldn’t get credit for it. Brilliant.

  15. drubyy1993 - Feb 1, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Even as a die hard heat fan since they came to miami he’s the biggest snub by far but Kobe made it on the west team without playing more than a couple games smh the process has for to change

  16. vikesdynasty - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Joe Johnson lol not Jackson.

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