Disappointment is always relative to expectation. Expectation is a product of reputation and opportunity. Reputation often lags behind the actual on-court performance of a player. A great opportunity is sometimes the wrong one. And when everything mis-aligns, we get the Most Disappointing Player.
Sometimes you have to slap yourself to wake up from a bad dream. That would be the only real explanation for what Lance was doing in this Video.
Everything was aligned perfectly for this to be a breakthrough season for Lance Stephenson (but also possibly for him to fail):
- Lance was considered to have been a possible All-Star last season (of course his league average PER, late season regression and infamous playoff antics did raise a few red flags)
- He had been brought in by Michael Jordan to be the missing star that would propell his Charlotte Hornets franchise and take it from borderline playoff team to fringe contender.
- He had signed his first big NBA contract (a BIG red flag, specially since post contract year drop offs are actually quite common — it’s hard to stay motivated after getting guaranteed money, making rap videos is more fun…)
The hype had never been like this since Lance’s famous high school days when he graced magazine covers as the next NBA superstar.
But here’s how Lance Responded.
Lance Stephenson? Lowest 3-point percentage EVER with at least 100 attempts at .171. Previous low: Micheal Ray Richardson (.188) in 1981–82
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 15, 2015
He regressed in pretty much every measurable metric, was demoted from to the bench with his coach openly saying Lance Stephenson was “not a star yet”.
This play from his first NBA game with the Hornets was pretty much a summary of this season.
‘Born Ready’ wasn’t even born when Chuck D warned us not to believe the hype — maybe that’s why he missed the memo…