[Comments are closed since this is essentially a repeat of the comments in the front page story. Horse is dead.]
If you think I’m crazy and just Hatin’ on Staircase for the purpose of Hatin’ that’s not true. He is cancer that is bad for our team and he is a flat out thug that likes to beat on women. He also has no NBA game, so why are the Pacers wasting their time on him? I say cut him and move on. Here are multiple media sources that also tell the truth about the Staircase. I cited a lot of them so you can’t say, “Oh ESPN are horrible reporters.” I don’t know any other way to convince you guys. . .
Up and coming basketball VIP Lance Stephenson has been arrested and charged with criminal sexual abuse. Lance Stephenson is accused of groping and making threatening statements to a student at Lincoln High School in New York City.
Basketball teammate Darwin Ellis and one other boy have also been charged with forcible touching an harassment after groping a 17-year-old student and telling her that they would "slap the hell" out of her. Lance "Born Ready" Stephenson appeared in Brooklyn Criminal Court last week, and must appear again on June 29.
Lance Stephenson has been offered at least five college basketball scholarships. His star had been rising, but the recent charges will determine his future. If true, these charges may tank Lance Stephenson's basketball career.
Do Teams Still Want Lance Stephenson
By Chris Chase
His stock has fallen farther than General Motors. Once the most-hyped recruit in the country, Lance Stephenson enters June without a school, without much hype and with many in recruiting circles saying he's not worth the trouble. This begs the question: Does anybody still want Lance Stephenson?
Probably not, when you consider quotes like this from a USA Basketball official. Speaking about Stephenson not making the under-18 men's national team last June:
"[Lance] was worthy of being on [the under-18 men's national team in 2008], but what you deal with is it would have taken too much energy for the coaches to maintain Lance playing less minutes and being on the bench, and it would have diverted [them] from working with the top five to seven guys to win a gold medal."
Translation: Stephenson is a chemistry killer. Taking one-and-done guys (as Stephenson is likely to be) is always a crapshoot, but there always seem to be more danger with the ones whose feet are already out the door before they step foot on campus. That doesn't lead to Final Fours, it leads to first-round NCAA tournament exits and a difficult recruiting situation in the fall.
Lance Stephenson is Still without a School
This was bad enough on June 1, when Chris wrote about the topic, but it's now June 23, and Stephenson still doesn't have a school. Maryland rescinded its scholarship offer. St. John's, who would seem desperate for a New York-based savior, withdrew its interest. As of today, Florida International's Isiah Thomas has dropped the issue. The only coach still actively recruiting Stephenson appears to be Memphis's Josh Pastner, whose program may or may not be vacating a whole batch of wins -- if not worse -- this offseason.
Why is Stephenson still scholarship-less? The New York Daily News asks that question today, and the answers they come up with can be summed up as such:
1. Stephenson has a domineering father known for his loud antics at basketball games and clashes with Stephenson's high school coach. His father, Lance Sr., has also handled much of Stephenson's recruiting. Coaches are likely scared off by that relationship.
2. He might not be eligible. Stephenson will likely invite a whole mess of NCAA scrutiny once he signs on with a school for a variety of reasons, including an online TV show that was picked up by MTV2 (was he compensated?), a tour through the Under Armour factory with CEO and Maryland booster Kevin Plank, and the simple fact that he just might not make the grades.
3. Stephenson is currently charged with sexual assault for allegedly groping a 17-year-old; he's set to appear in court on June 29 with a teammate from Lincoln High School. If convicted, Stephenson could face 90 days in jail, which may or may not coincide with basketball season. Either way, "we recruit sexual offenders so long as they can be at practice on time!" isn't exactly the motto most coaches are going for.
4. His attitude. Chris's post had a quote from a USA Basketball coach about why Stephenson didn't make the under-18 team last year, and it was about team-related attitude. In the Daily News story, a Big East assistant says "With Lance, it's always me, me, me." Davidson's coach, Bob McKillop -- coincidentally the coach of the U-18 USA Basketball team that cut Stephenson -- is now on the record saying:
"Five percent of the game is played with the ball in your hands," McKillop told the News at the time. "The other 95% is played without the ball in your hands. Lance had to work on that."
One of these things, or maybe even two of them, would probably be fine. I mean, if coaches never took players with strong-willed parents, or players with some semblance of criminal behavior, or players with eligibility issues, or players that were convinced they needed to have the ball all the time, the NCAA would hardly exist. This is how it works. Elite basketball players occasionally come from bad backgrounds, or have behavioral issues, and that's never stopped coaches before.
But when you roll up all four of Stephenson's issues and put them in one volatile package -- and when you throw in the high-profile nature of his recruitment, and the fact that the NCAA seems certain to investigate Stephenson the minute he steps on a college campus -- you get a radioactive player. In fact, Stephenson might be the first player in the one-and-done era who was simultaneously this talented and this undesirable. He's enough to make college hoops coaches catch a conscience.
The questions aren't about Stephenson's game, but about the off-court issues. He seems to be the guy that every coach would rather be somebody else's problem. Between the pending criminal charge, questions about amateur status and the general sense that where Stephen goes drama follows, he just might not be worth it. Gary Williams, for instance, is desperate to sign a big-time national recruit. Will putting up with a possible Stephenson-headache be worth it for next season?
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers NBA player, arrested for pushing his girlfriend down the stairs
BY JOHN LAUINGER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Coney Island basketball star Lance Stephenson - a second-round pick of the Indiana Pacers in the June NBA draft - was busted yesterday for pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs, cops said.
Stephenson, 19, a legendary player at Brooklyn's Abraham Lincoln High School, roughed up Jasmine Williams, 21, at her Brooklyn apartment building about 5 a.m., police said.
The 6-foot-5 rookie point guard's cowardly shove sent Williams - the mother of Stephenson's child - tumbling headfirst down 10 steps, requiring her to be treated at a hospital for injuries to her head and neck, cops said.
Mike Wells from the Indystar
Just days after feeling good about making what they think is their best trade in years, the Pacers were knocked down Sunday when rookie guard Lance Stephenson was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend down a flight of stairs in Brooklyn, N.Y., early Sunday.
Defensive breakdowns and some maturity issues. You gotta guy like Lance Stephenson who is just getting some playing time and some of the veterans were upset with the way he was playing out there, as far as not wanting to give the ball up and also some of the passes he was making.
You know, Lance is a very talented player and I'm never going to take that away from him. I just feel like he needs to grow up. He's very immature still. I've mentioned that to a number of people about his maturity problems and a lot of people say, well he's only 20 years old, but my response to that is, you may be 20 years old but at the same time there's a difference between acting 19 or 20 and acting 15 or 16 and I feel like Lance is more in that 15 to 16 range and again, where the leadership lacks, he thinks he can get away with that.
Stephenson attorney Alberto Ebanks didn’t return phone and e-mail messages Monday.
The All Criminal Basketball Team:
Lance Stephenson has yet to see the NBA court. Unfortunately for the former Bearcat, he'll likely be seeing a rather different kind of court quite soon.
A month ago, the Pacers rookie was arrested for third-degree assault, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs. Reports indicate that Stephenson then went down after her, smashing her head on the bottom step. The incident allegedly stemmed from Stephenson's girlfriend not answering her phone. This investigation is ongoing.
Stephenson, an extremely talented basketball player, holds the New York State High School record for most career points scored. Although he consistently got the job done on the floor, the Lincoln High School alumnus did not necessarily score any points with law enforcement, even in those days.
In 2008, Stephenson was arrested for groping a 17-year-old girl on school grounds, and was charged with third-degree sexual assault.