The Indiana Pacers may have prolonged the inevitable by defeating the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but that doesn’t mean that all is quiet for Frank Vogel’s squad.
According to ESPN, Roy Hibbert’s comments during the second half of the regular season calling some of his teammates out as being selfish were directed at Lance Stephenson.
Hibbert didn’t come out and identify the player directly to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, but he was talking about Lance Stephenson on March 28 after a loss in Washington, when he said “there’s some selfish dudes” in the locker room.
There also seems to be some friction between Stephenson and the Pacers organization. The ESPN report linked above goes on to say that the forward changed once he was not named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team.
Overall, the team noticed a shift in Stephenson from a more team-oriented approach to a more self-oriented focus, where he started obsessing about his statistics. People within the team believed his upcoming free agency was also a motivating factor for Stephenson, who wanted to enhance his value, something he believed suffered when he didn’t get an All-Star nod.
Stephenson’s actions on Wednesday night in Game 5 likely didn’t quiet these concerns. He mocked Heat forward LeBron James by blowing in his ear, and earlier in the night, decided to join Miami’s huddle. This doesn’t even take into account his somewhat concerning comments directed at James in the media throughout the series.
Photo: Brian Spurlock, USA Today