Although questions and criticism have followed Lance Stephenson throughout much of his career, the Los Angeles Lakers spoke highly of the type of player they were getting when he signed a one-year contract this past free agency.
Stephenson is someone LeBron James mentioned to the Lakers front office he wished to have as a teammate, and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson made it clear the team did not expect the 28-year-old to change who he is.
Stephenson fell out of the rotation for a brief stretch of games due to turnover issues but he’s since received regular minutes again. He provided a spark off the bench Saturday night as the Lakers blew out the Charlotte Hornets.
It included Stephenson making a 3-pointer that was followed by his customary air guitar celebration. Only this time, it earned him a technical foul.
Stephenson largely laughed the incident off and explained he celebrated in Miles Bridges’ direction because of their friendship and friendly competition, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“I guess the refs don’t like my little air guitar celebration. … They just gave me a tech. Miles challenged me, so I was just showing him I’m confident. Just a little fun. During the summer we work out at the same place, so we know each other a little bit. We challenged each other all game.”
Stephenson also made it clear he will continue with the celebration:
“Oh, of course. Especially if I’m feeling it.
He finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 23 minutes off the bench. His effort included an electrifying one-handed slam dunk late in the fourth quarter.
As for his air guitar, Stephenson previously explained there isn’t much meaning behind it and the celebration came to be spontaneously.
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