Fans react to Lance Stephenson’s decision to leave Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)  Lance Stephenson’s departure from the Indiana Pacers has plenty of people talking.  But much of the talk is about the Pacer’s moving forward, not looking back.

Michael Grady on the  Brady and Big Joe show on 1070 The Fan opened up the phone lines Wednesday, and listeners spoke up about Stephenson’s decision.

“We love Lance. We love the energy that he brought and whatever else. But we think maybe some of the problems he might have contributed to,” says Joe Staysniak to the team’s listeners during their morning sports talk show.

“A guy who can break down the defense and give good looks for teammates is what’s missing right now. And that’s what Lance was bringing you when he had his head screwed on right,” says Grady.

If it seemed like the Stephenson decision was a fast one, Rick Bonnell, the reporter for the Charlotte Observer who broke the story told Grady and Big Joe on the air.  He says it took shape in about three days.

“I think this is a classic example of a team and a player running out of alternatives,”  Bonnell says.

Back home in Indiana, Pacer fans are looking forward, not back.

“The rumor that I’m hearing is Mr. Hibbert is gonna get sent to Portland for Wes Mathews and Nicholas Batum,” says a caller.

Hayes & Taylor an Indianapolis custom T-Shirt company got rid of Stephenson t-shirts for free. While at the Pacers fan store there are still Stephenson jersey’s at full price, but no one was buying.

Out on the playground 14-year-old Jacqueal Pleasant is practicing his basketball shots.  He says he will miss Stephenson. But even he understands that it’s just one of those things.

“I feel like it’s not a good choice, but it’s a choice. You see he decided that he wasn’t going to win a ring with the Pacers, so he decided to go to Charlotte,” he says.

Some people speculated that Stephenson might have gone to Charlotte because Michael Jordan is an owner there. But Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer said he doesn’t think so.

He said in Charlotte, Jordan is an owner and doesn’t interact with the team day by day, the way Larry Bird does here in Indiana. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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