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Pacers produced a movie to make free agent pitch to Lance Stephenson

Jul 1, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

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The Pacers would seem to have a difficult decision regarding whether or not to bring back Lance Stephenson on a long-term deal in free agency, given his questionable behavior during the team’s playoff loss to the Miami Heat.

But really, they don’t have much of a choice.

Indiana doesn’t have any salary cap space to go out and add talent to the roster in free agency, but is able to offer Stephenson a new contract to stay. For that reason, it wasn’t a surprise to learn that they went with a somewhat over-the-top gesture to convey their interest in re-signing him.

From Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star:

>>At 12:01 a.m. this morning, Lance Stephenson and company were with the Indiana Pacers’ team brass at a private party, watching a movie in Stephenson’s honor.

>>The movie was a secret to Stephenson.

>>Parts of the movie featured a few words from Larry Bird, Pacers president of basketball operations, and coach Frank Vogel.

>>Sources say things got “emotional” for Stephenson’s loved ones at certain parts, especially when the ‘Born Ready’ life story began reflecting on his journey to climb out of Coney Island.

>>In the past, the Pacers have done things for their free agents. Last year, the Pacers did something cool for Paul George, but this is the first time for a movie. A team source said, “It gets bigger every year.”

The Pacers reportedly hope to hear something from Stephenson as early as today as far as a decision, but it’ll be interesting to see just how high they’re willing to go on a contract for the talented guard whose actions have proven to be problematic at times.

Stephenson, as you may recall, engaged in plenty of non-basketball nonsense with LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals, most notably blowing in his ear and smacking him in the face during a dead ball situation. These moves were condemned by Bird and Vogel at the time, but again, as far as constructing the roster to continue to contend moving forward, they simply don’t have much of a choice but to do what they can to retain Stephenson’s services.

Stephenson may very well continue to improve as a player, but his maturity is the biggest question moving forward. Indiana could be hoping that Stephenson puts together a strong first half of the season under a new contract, which may make him valuable in trade before the midseason deadline passes. The Pacers need to do something to get better, because following a late-season slide and yet another playoff loss to the Heat, it’s clear they won’t be able to progress any further until they switch out some pieces on that roster.

  1. cbwv1974 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Was it titled “Blowin’ Kisses in the Wind.” ?

  2. spursareold - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Everyone knew LS had talent. That’s not why he dropped to the second round. He fell because he’s an immature volatile jerk.

    • bball242322 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Has** talent

      • spursareold - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        Perfectly acceptable to use past tense when speaking about a past event: the draft where he was selected. If you’re going to pick at that, you should have also changed ‘knew’ to ‘knows’, since paired verbs should be of the same tense.

      • spursareold - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        It’s perfectly acceptable to use the past tense to describe a past event (the 2010 draft), even if the topic being discussed is still in the same state: he had and still has talent. In addition, if you’re going to change the tense of that verb, you should also change ‘knew’ to ‘knows’.

        If you’re going to be a grammar nazi, at least be a competent one.

  3. jayrandle - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    I bet that movie really blows.

    • bball242322 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Doubt it. Probably will win an Emmy

    • miamatt - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      I see what you did there.

    • ranfan12 - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      it was a flop in the box office

  4. cantonb0und13 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    I’m about to run a couple miles on this lovely day.

    • cantonbound13 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Running away is what you do best, coward.

  5. ravenswhat - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Did that movie include a 10 mill per year contract? Oh it didn’t? Seeya Lance.

  6. miamatt - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    A re-boot of the Problem Child franchise? Awesome!!!

  7. saint1997 - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    Born Ready need to at least take looks at Charlotte and Atlanta!

  8. sportsfan18 - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    “Sources say things got “emotional” for Stephenson’s loved ones at certain parts”

    the women always cry when watching the movie “Titanic”

  9. enigma2742 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    YEAH ANYBODY WHO LIVED IN CONEY ISLAND WANT TO GET OUT ITS NOT A PLACE TO LIVE TRUST ME

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