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Lance Stephenson: From China’s Liaoning Flying Leopards back to Indiana Pacers?

lance stephenson lianoing flying leopards to indiana pacers
Former NBA player Lance Stephenson could return to the Indiana Pacers after playing briefly in China. Pic credit: ESPN/YouTube

It’s been a minute since Lance Stephenson has been seen strumming an air guitar on an NBA court, but that could soon change if a deal works out.

A report has popped up indicating Stephenson may leave China’s Liaoning Flying Leopards in favor of joining one of his old NBA teams, the Indiana Pacers.

Stephenson to potentially join Pacers

The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania broke the news of Lance Stephenson’s possible return to the NBA hardwood on Sunday.

Based on Charania’s tweet, the former Pacers star is having “strong talks” with Indiana about a potential deal.

So far, nothing has been made official or finalized as Stephenson needs to get “clearance” from his Chinese team, the Liaoning Flying Leopards, along with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

Stephenson last participated in the NBA last season with the Lakers. That was also LeBron James’ first season as a member of the roster.

Stephenson’s air guitar and dance moves brought excitement to Lakers’ games during that time.

He’s also been known to use antics on the court to try to get inside his opponents’ heads. That included one LeBron James with the infamous blowing in the ear highlight from years ago.

Stephenson spent the first four years of his NBA career with the Pacers and had another stint there in 2017 through 2018, before joining LeBron’s Lakers.

Other teams Stephenson played for have included the Charlotte Hornets, LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Pelicans.

Stephenson’s Liaoning Flying Leopards career

After playing in 68 games for the Lakers last season, Stephenson took his talents to the Chinese Basketball Association. He signed a deal with the Liaoning Flying Leopards on August 1, 2019.

Stephenson would go on to help his squad defeat the Seoul SK Knights at the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12.

During that final game, Stephenson had 34 points, grabbed eight boards and dished out four assists.

Throughout his four tournament games, he scored 125 total points, per East Asia Super League. That earned the former NBA star the Most Valuable Player award for the Terrific 12.

Stephenson averaged 32 points through the Terrific 12, which was second-best to only TNT KaTropa’s K McDaniels. Additionally, Stephenson averaged five assists per game and also hit 10 three-pointers.

In terms of his NBA career, Lance Stephenson has averaged 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists with a 44.4 field goal percentage. Last season with the Lakers, he averaged 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, per Basketball-Reference.

As of this report, the Indiana Pacers hold a record of 38-25 ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Pacers are currently the No. 5 team in the Eastern Conference standings and trail the Miami Heat for the No. 4 spot by just two games.

This season already saw the return of Victor Oladipo. It also saw Domantas Sabonis earn his first-ever All-Star Game appearance.

With a playoff appearance seeming to be on the way, it only seems right to bring back the talented and entertaining Lance Stephenson based on what he’s shown with the Liaoning Flying Leopards.


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