Lance Stephenson Is A Bad Guy

16 Aug 2010

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.

“We have been made aware of a situation involving Lance Stephenson early Sunday morning in Brooklyn,” Pacers president¬†Larry¬†Bird said in a statement released from the team. “We are currently in the process of gathering information and will have further comments as we learn more facts.”

Stephenson’s agent, Al Ebanks, did not return a phone message Sunday.

Stephenson’s incident is a hard blow to the Pacers because they’ve spent years trying to repair their negative off-the-court image with the fan base.

They raised eyebrows by drafting Stephenson in June. A schoolboy legend in New York City, he played one year at Cincinnati and fell to the Pacers with the 40th pick overall, in the second round of the draft.

After an impressive showing in the Orlando summer league, the Pacers decided to sign him to a guaranteed contract, even though they weren’t obliged to with a second-round pick. He received a two-year contract with an option on the third and fourth years.

Sunday wasn’t the first time Stephenson has had a run-in with the law.

Stephenson was charged with sexual abuse for allegedly groping a girl at a bus stop near his high school in New York his senior year. The charge was dismissed and he ended up pleading to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct.

The Pacers supposedly did their homework on Stephenson before drafting him in June. They hired a private investigator to do a thorough background check on Stephenson and his family.