Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and general manager Dave Wohl made 61 calls to delve into the background of Lance Stephenson before adding him to the team, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
“I don't think we’ve ever made more (background) calls for a player in my life,” Rivers told USA Today. “We had to make sure, but I’ve got to tell you that I’m really excited. It’s one game (in the regular season), but I think he has a chance to be really disruptive to other teams. And what I love is he gives us another ball handler, and you can see that with the first group.”
Stephenson’s character distinguished him due to his high-energy and pesky defense as a member of the Indiana Pacers during the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which included blowing into the ear of LeBron James.
Stephenson arrived in Los Angeles after being traded during the off-season in a deal that sent Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes to the the Charlotte Hornets. He has started in the Clippers’ first two games of the season.
Stephenson struggled in Charlotte after signing a three-year, $27 million contract, averaging 8.2 points per game and shooting just 17.1% from behind the arc. He will be paid $9 million this year.
Stephenson recorded three points with two rebounds and two assists on Thursday night in the Clippers’ 104–88 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
- Christopher Chavez