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Pacers coach Vogel on Lance Stephenson’s antics: ‘I don’t think it’s ever good to tug on Superman’s cape’

May 31, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

Over the course of the majority of the first half of the season, Lance Stephenson‘s improved play was a huge reason that the Pacers got off to such a strong start. He was a triple-double threat on seemingly a nightly basis, and played under control and within his team’s system.

By the time Indiana’s season was over following Friday’s blowout Game 6 loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, Stephenson had gone rogue, and had resorted to tactics that had little to do with basketball in the final two games of the series.

Pacers president Larry Bird condemned Stephenson’s odd decision to blow in the ear of LeBron James in Game 5, and head coach Frank Vogel expressed a similar sentiment following the whole host of things that Stephenson tried to do to mess with his opponent in Game 6.

“It’s tough to say,” Vogel said, when asked if Stephenson’s antics hurt more than they helped. “I don’t think it’s ever good … what’s everybody call it? Tug on Superman’s cape. I don’t think that’s ever good. But I’ll take Lance Stephenson’s competitive edge. Like I said, I just don’t think it’s good to tug on the cape.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wouldn’t even discuss Stephenson afterward, saying only, “We’re playing for something much bigger than that guy” when the subject was broached.

Stephenson showed he can play this year, and could be a real asset to a team with the right amount of veteran leadership in the locker room capable of keeping him in check. He also showed why general managers around the league will be extremely leery of handing him a high-dollar, long-term contract in free agency this summer.

  1. loubearkane - May 31, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Vogul got the Pacers from point A to point B. Might have to bring in a new coach to get the team from B to C.

    F Miami!!!!

    • loubearkane - May 31, 2014 at 8:06 AM


  2. cruzan80 - May 31, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Vogel will be looking for work a week from today.

    • sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      The Knicks still have an opening…

      • cruzan80 - May 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        They won’t for very long after Vogel is fired…

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM


        so close…

        i mean they were either going to let him go… or they weren’t…

  3. timb12 - May 31, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Lionel Hollins would kill with this roster.

    • nycalldayz - May 31, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Maybe the series goes 7 or Indy wins if Hollins coaches. lol

  4. gmenmunny - May 31, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    It’s also advised to never blow in Superman’s ear, unless of course you’re Lois Lane.

  5. ravenswhat - May 31, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Good comment from Spoels. F Lance. He’s a troll.

  6. rrhoe - May 31, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    And yet Vogel did nothing to reign Lance in,sometimes a coach must send the message that things will not be tolerated.

  7. fanofthegame79 - May 31, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Vogel’s post game comments were fantastic. But, was I the only one that thought he was a little emotional when he was saying “It was a bitterly disappointing loss…”. To me, it seemed like he had to pause to catch his emotions.

    • hatingyourteam - May 31, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      I thought he would cry. Lmao

  8. jman2020 - May 31, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    So your telling the only player that showed heart on your team to pipe down because thats lebron james he’s playin against if anything you should have been telling his teammates to emulate his competitive spirit so pay the man an shop Hibbert

  9. haaaaasoooooo - May 31, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Trade hibbert and get rid of lance. The question I want to know is; how did David West hold himself back from punching his own teammate?

  10. haaaaasoooooo - May 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    After media left, Vogel also advised Lance against spitting into the wind, pulling the mask off the Lone Ranger, and “messing around” with Jim.

  11. antistratfordian - May 31, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Some players learn the hard way. And maybe it’s appropriate for this franchise because Reggie Miller never hesitated to tug on Superman’s cape. Stephenson is just keeping the Miller-esque tradition of flopping and antagonizing alive in Indiana.

  12. borderline1988 - May 31, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    Not a fan of Vogel’s comments. That’s some lame weak stuff….the only thing I give Stephenson credit for was the fact that he wasn’t willing to simply bow down to Lebron James and Dwayne Wade.

    That being said, when your antics come to the point where your own teammates are being distracted, it needs to stop. The fact that Lance didn’t stop, even after he was told to stop by his bosses and after it had become painfully obvious that it was disrupting the locker room, shows his selfishness and immaturity.

    Lance probably just cost himself a good chunk of change in free agency.

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