There are plenty of moving parts that comprise the dynamic game of Lance Stephenson and his ability to take his considerable talents to the extreme, both good and bad, have made him must watch entertainment for the Blue and Gold.
Stephenson's penchant for theatrics is part of the total package which also earned him a flop warning from the NBA on Thursday.
Here's Stephenson's flying flop after getting bumped by Kyle Lowry which drew the attention of the league office. Now if only someone could sync that video up with R. Kelly's, "I Believe I Can Fly."
Sometimes it is hard to separate the basketball player and the entertainer. Often there is no need, since the combo is exhilarating. Other times, you're begging for the basketball player to just play.
When he first started playing heavy minutes last year, the sight of Lance writhing on the floor in pain would elicit gasps, with hopes he hadn't sustained a major injury. Now? The first thought is, he's fine. Before long, the limping Stephenson goes into a timeout and then emerges ready to star galloping up and down the floor again.
As David West says, "That's just, Lance."
So it was a bit of a surprise that a knee contusion kept Lance sidelined in Atlanta on Wednesday. Usually the urge to get out on the court overcomes his low threshold for pain. After all, Lance is an entertainer and the show must go on. Stephenson told Candace Buckner his pain level was a 9 and my first thought was, that's like a 5 for the rest of us.
But that's not fair. Besides, Stephenson has shown no shame returning to the floor after appearing shot, maimed or severely injured in some other manner, so if the knee contusion hurt too bad for him to play, the pain was legit.
What wasn't a surprise was the league's warning issued to Stephenson for flopping. Again, that's part of his game -- the theatrics. It isn't a matter of 'if' Stephenson will eventually draw a flopping fine, but 'when' he will draw a flopping fine, just as he did in the playoffs against the Heat. It's part of his game and to try to deny a part of Stephenson's game is to risk messing with the whole game he brings to the court.
The basketball court is Stephenson's stage and when he takes the floor ready to perform don't worry about warnings or fines, just sit back and enjoy the show.