The Indiana Pacers’ Lance Stephenson is like school on Sunday – no class. That’s what P.J. Tucker of the Toronto Raptors said after Lance decided to showboat for the fans by scoring in the closing seconds of their April 4 game!
It started off as a joyous night of love and celebration, but turned ugly at the end. Lance Stephenson, 26, made his return to the Indiana Pacers after re-signing with the team last week and he helped them pull off a 19-point comeback over the Toronto Raptors. It was that final point of the game that resulted in a wild shoving match between him, DeMar DeRozan, 27, and P.J. Tucker, 31.
Here’s what happened: Indiana was leading, 105-90, with 3.3 seconds left, according to Vigilant Sports. After P.J. missed a shot, Lance got the ball back. Instead of politely running out the clock — since the Raptors had no chance to win — he went for an easy layup. This left his opponents furious, as Lance, P.J. and DeMar got into a heated shoving match on the court!
BAHAHAHA Lance shoots breakaway layup up 15 w/seconds left, infuriates Raptors, walks right by😭
WELCOME TO THE LANCE STEPHENSON EXPERIENCE pic.twitter.com/ecdMq1EOvn
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) April 5, 2017
Stephenson admitted that he got caught up in the moment of the last play and apologizes to the Raptors. pic.twitter.com/nk2Wk32XIQ
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 5, 2017
“Tasteless. Classless. There’s nowhere in the league for that,” P.J. said after the game. “[The Pacers have] got a lot of respectful guys…a bunch of respectful guys who know how to win. There’s a way to win, there’s a way to lose in this league and that ain’t the way to win. That ain’t the way you finish games. That dude has no class. He has no taste.”
It’s an unwritten rule that NBA players, out of respect for their opponents, don’t run up the score. In this situation, Lance was expected to hold onto the ball and walk off the floor in the closing moments. Obviously, P.J. and DeMar saw Lance’s move as a sign of disrespect. All three men – Lance, P.J. and DeMar – were assigned technical fouls, per ESPN, and the Pacers won 108-90.
Lance knew he messed up and offered an apology after the game. ““I was caught in the moment,” said Lance. “I just want to say sorry to them, I didn’t mean no harm. The crowd was chanting me on and I just wanted to do it for the fans. I just want to say sorry and I ain’t mean no hard feelings for that.”
Well, Lance may get a second chance to show the Raptors some respect. While these two teams will not play each other again in the regular season, Indiana moved up in the rankings with this victory. If the Pacers qualify for the NBA Playoffs, it’s possible they may clash in the post-season. Don’t expect any easy layups if that happens.
What do you think about Lance’s layup, HollywoodLifers? Was it disrespectful or was it just Lance showing love on his triumphant return?