I have never met Lance Stephenson but have watched him no less than 15 times since he was in 8th grade. I also watched his dad play as he grew up. I am so tired of folks treating this kid unfairly and punishing him based on a reputation I have never witnessed. Yes I said it, I have never seen this kid act in a way that could be described as horrible.
The media, some fans, and even coaches make this kid out to have the worst attitude ever seen on a HS or AAU court. Is he competitive? Yes! Does he get upset? Yes! Does he take winning serious? Yes! But what many people fail to recognize is he has been pulled on since he was in 7th or 8th grade. Thus the name "Born Ready." Kid is just the ultimate competitor. Plus he is still a kid despite his mature basketball skills.
Unfortunately people watch him too closely and wait for him to do anything wrong. Spit in the street it's a huge story. Say something to a referee and people say "Look At That Attitude." This guy has been under a microscope for many years and people expect him to be perfect. And we all that is not possible.
Basketball wise what did he do so bad that Bob Mckillip would cut him this past summer? Bob did that based on perception. Its the same reason Bob will always be at mid major type program where he can recruit kids based on his perception of what a good kid is. Middle Class kids and those not from the inner city according to many. Steph Curry's folks are loaded and they live in a Charlotte NC Development with Million Dollar Homes. That's Bob's type of kid. I think it is the real reason he was not a serious candidate for St. Johns. Nice guy who wants only a certain type of player. Check out past rosters. Middle Class kids from here and a few international kids. He was, is, and always will an outstanding coach. But he was wrong with Lance I feel.
Now we look at the Jordan Brand Game scheduled for Madison Square Garden. I cannot believe they would have the audacity to come into NY for a game and not take the highest rated player in the area. Than the Jordan Brand folks do the same thing and slight Dexter Strickland who has done everything right and is viewed as a great kid from a great family. Even Bob McKillip would recruit him lol. What are they doing and what are they trying to say and prove. Was Mike that great of a role model off the court that they feel they need a certain type kid? Was it the Sneakers he wore? By the way will Mike's Son play? I guess it is like Al McGuire said years ago when he started his son Allie at Marquette and folks complained. Al said "You have to be a hell (He used another word lol) of a player to beat my son out."
The participants chosen really reflect how powerful some sneaker companies feel they are. Do you honestly think they could get away with this in Chicago? Those HS and AAU Coaches would close that game down based on the lack of respect shown. Don't believe me? ask Joey Meyer what happened at DePaul when they pissed off the Chicago HS Coaches. They shut DePaul down and they have yet to recover! Attendance wise this game will suffer without Lance or Dexter, who could be the top 2 seniors in the NYC Tri-State Area. For this game to now be successful they might just need Michael Jordan himself to suit up and also participate in the Slam Dunk Contest lol.
Lance and Dexter will hopefully use this slight as a motivator as they go on and have successful basketball careers. I just wonder what type of sneakers they will wear if they make the NBA.
Why do folks take time to be so vicious and hate on each other? It just amazes me the hurtful personal stuff said about kids on Internet boards. The things we assume are true are not always true. To insinuate a kid is playing bad because he has done some off court activities gives the average fan the impression a kid is doing illegal stuff. College kids are often just that, COLLEGE KIDS. We tend to be so judgmental and forget that providing information in a way as if you have all the facts is wrong, especially if you are guessing.
The bottom line is development of players is a huge recruiting instrument. It is what kids need to look at when choosing a school. Villanova got Scotty Reynolds at the last moment not only because of the coaching change where he was going to attend, but because of how well the super 3 guards developed. Same thing with a long line of Syracuse big guys as well as Centers at Georgetown under John Thompson Sr. At North Carolina they are able to recruit multiple AA types because kids know that even if the play little as freshmen they will eventually get an opportunity as THEY DEVELOP.
Development is however a two way street. Players and Coaches share the responsibility. But you need hard working and motivated players and coaches who can teach and motivate players. When I see kids go down statistically to a point where they look like they would be more at home at a D 2 school it looks serious. In no way should any kid go from All BE rookie team to 4 points a game as a senior. That should send an alarm to the Head Coach that he needs to get more or better assistance with players. Strength and conditioning or maybe better position coaches. But something!
But again we as fans, and some are fans who never even played or coached but act as if they have, need to realize that it's easy to say a kid is bad or you cannot wait for them to leave. Just wonder if someone said the same thing about your performance as a Dentist, Lawyer, Teacher, Cop, Salesman, Sanitation Worker, etc. without knowing what is really happening.