So Lance Stephenson has had a nice week.
Before Stephenson hitting his first 3 of the season which also happened to be the first game-winner of his career, he sat down with Zach Lowe for a fun Q&A session. There's no need to go over the article verbatim, so let's focus on a few of the highlights. For example, this very timely question and answer.
Zach Lowe: You’re 12-of-45 so far from the field. You haven’t made a 3 yet. Is this the worst slump of your career?
Lance Stephenson: Uh…It’s a process. When you change from a different team, and you’re just trying to get comfortable and learn the offense, you’re gonna have slumps. Some guys come in right away and fit right in, but right now, I’m taking my time and learning the offense. Hopefully my shot will start falling.
ZL: That groin injury in the preseason probably didn’t help.
LS: Yeah. That throws everything off.
ZH: On a lot of possessions, you’ll be on the weak side behind the 3-point line, someone will swing the ball to you, and you’ll be pretty wide open. But you don’t shoot. You like to hold the ball, survey the floor, and set up for a drive. You shot 35 percent from deep last year. Why don’t you just shoot? They’re good shots!
LS: I’m gonna shoot.
ZH: So you’re aware there are some good looks you pass up?
LS: I’m gonna shoot.
ZH: Have the coaches here talked to you about it?
LS: I’m just getting comfortable. I’m gonna start shooting. I just gotta concentrate on my shot and follow through. I’ve just been missing, been struggling. It just takes time, and I’m gonna get it right.
ZH: It’s interesting: Coaches want everyone to make instant decisions when you get the ball. You like to hold it a bit sometimes, pull out some crossovers, and go to work. The offense kind of stops, but you can get to the rim that way. Is it tough to find the right balance?
LS: I just do whatever the defense gives me. If the defense gives me a drive, I try to create my own shot. If the defense collapses on me, I try to find the open man. It’s all just my instincts.
"I'm gonna shoot." Well, shoot he did against Atlanta, shooting a season-best 7-of-15 from the floor. Stephenson was also quoted after the game saying, "I cant make a swish right now so I tried the backboard." Clearly, he just needs to do that more often.
Regardless, he and everyone on the team knows that Stephenson is still adjusting to his new team, and vice versa. It is still weird for Hornets fans to see a player get a look like this and not shoot the ball.
Lance Stephenson did not shoot this shot. pic.twitter.com/ZdOjWgV2Ru— Dane Carbaugh (@danecarbaugh) November 8, 2014
Stephenson seems to be driving a lot more to the basket recently, perhaps in an attempt to get his confidence up before he takes more long range shots. Whatever he's doing, he just needs to make sure he did what he did Friday night more often.
Moving on, we can expect some more rap singles from Stephenson in the future. I personally am looking forward to buying the complete album, but that's just me.
ZL: The Hornets play your rap song during pregame. Did you ask them to do that?
LS: It’s just a great thing they’re doing. I just hope they keep doing it. It gets me hyped before the game.
ZL: Any other songs in the works?
LS: Coming soon, coming soon. Yeah.
ZL: So you’ve written them?
LS: They’re already done. I’m just waiting for the right time to pull it out.
Next topic: Someone needs to set up a Michael Jordan versus Larry Bird one-on-one ASAP.
ZL: Does Larry Bird still talk a lot of trash? In public, he says basically nothing.
LS: Yeah. He talks a lot once you get to know him. He’s a cool guy. Of course he talks trash. If that’s you, that’ll always be you. He talks a lot, and he’s always challenging us to 3-point contests.
ZL: Can he still beat you all?
LS: If he can stay in one spot, he can shoot it.
This game needs to happen for the trash talking between the two, if nothing else. Hey McDonalds, I just gave you a new commercial idea. You are welcome.
Next up, Stephenson's love of rebounding. In case you haven't noticed, he gets a lot of rebounds. His 10.5 boards a game is actually good for 10th-best in the NBA at the time of this writing, better than the likes of Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan, Roy Hibbert and Kenneth Faried. The next closest shooting guard? James Harden, with 6.7 rebounds a game. So what makes Stephenson such a rebounder?
ZL: You gotta admit you take rebounds from teammates sometimes — and that lets you start the break. But that was a source of frustration in Indiana — a guy would be all set to catch a rebound, and you’d fly in from nowhere and almost take it out of their hands. Does that annoy teammates?
LS: That means I’m hustling more than them. If I’m taking your rebound, you gotta hustle more.
Well, stealing boards away from teammates is one way to get it done. I'm more impressed with his mindset. Hopefully it becomes contagious on the team. Perhaps they could start a contest to see who can steal the most rebounds away from each other. Fun little games like that usually help team chemistry, which is big in the NBA.
Are you aware that your video-bomb with Derek Fisher became a big Internet thing? Did you know the camera was there? That was priceless.
Oh, yeah, I saw that. It was so funny. Stuff happens during the game. I actually fell down right there, and they happened to have the camera right on Derek Fisher, and I just popped up.
Did all your friends email and text that to you?
Oh, no. I see everything that’s on the Internet.
"Oh no, I see everything that's on the Internet."
"EVERYTHING THAT'S ON THE INTERNET."
"EVERYTHING THAT'S ON THE INTERNET."
You all realize what this means right? It means Stephenson has seen this. And this. And this. And he's probably reading this now. In which case, hi Lance! You want to do an interview with us sometime? Please?