Lance Stephenson lit up the Fieldhouse with 20 points in the second half of the first quarter, creating an environment during that 6:23 stretch that was as electric as we’ve seen all year.
Let alone in the first quarter.
As the game continued and Lance kept making plays and playing off the love from the fans, which in turn had the fans heaping more love on Lance and the Pacers, it was obvious Lance could change his nickname to ‘Stay Ready’ after he did just that despite being out of the league for two years, then shows up with this performance. His Instagram feed over the years, shows how often and active he remained keeping his game in shape, including on the court at his local home.
But the reception from the fans from the time Lance stood up to check in, then throughout the game which included high fiving fans after plays at different times. This mutual love affair is incredible and without words to describe it.
I was left thinking of the DMX documentary I watched recently which left me stunned and sad, often asking myself ‘Why?’ throughout while watching the dynamic and troubled rapper repeatedly take the wrong fork in the road regardless of his level of success. I didn’t know the title of the documentary until after I watched. When I saw the title was, “Don’t Try To Understand” I realized it was the perfect title.
Watching the Lance show on Wednesday night and the fan reaction left me similarly stunned but quite joyful and there is no way, or reason really, to try to understand what happens at the Fieldhouse when Lance gets loose. Just kick back and enjoy.
The question now is how will the Pacers juggle their roster to keep Lance around. He deserves some type of commitment after delivering 10 times the marketing attention the team has received all season in just two hours. Did you see social media during the game? Bonkers.
Lance had his full bag of tricks in play, scoring inside and out, galloping down the floor with the ball and of course, strumming the air guitar on multiple occasions. When watching a replay like this shot to end the first quarter, you must watch three times. First to focus on Lance, second to focus on the crowd and third to focus on the bench. Good times all around.
When the dust settled on the game after Kevin Durant and Kyrie blazed past the Pacers at winning time, the buzz from Lance’s return continued though the night. With a few days left on his 10-day contract, we will soon see if the Pacers re-up for 10 more days or try to make a move to sign him for the rest of the season. No doubt, Lance would love to stay and the fan base may want it to happen more than Lance.
Just an incredible performance and night at the Fieldhouse.
First I wanna thank god #grateful , @prioritysports , @pacers organization, My coaches, My teammates #teamfirst and Last but not least I would like to thank the pacer nation fans,Truly amazing it’s like playing in front of family for the first time every time””Memorable moment pic.twitter.com/rRBOeU7SZC— Lance Stephenson (@StephensonLance) January 6, 2022
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