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Lance Stephenson Was ‘Hurt’ Michael Jordan Decided To Trade Him

USA Today

USA Today

The Charlotte Hornets seemed to finally be on the right track last summer by convincing Lance Stephenson to sign with the team in NBA free agency. Stephenson appeared to be a solid addition along with Kemba Walker, Michael-Kidd Gilchrist and Al Jefferson.

Unfortunately, even though it looked good on paper initially and Michael Jordan was starting to turn some heads around the league as a result, the Stephenson signing was a disaster from the word go. Stephenson never fit in during his time in Charlotte and was ultimately traded to the Los Angeles Clippers this summer in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes.

Reflecting on the trade that sent him to Los Angeles, Stephenson was asked if he was hurt that Jordan dealt him. The veteran forward said the following about Jordan trading him to the Clippers, via Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling:

“Yeah, definitely it hurt me (getting traded by Jordan). I felt like I could’ve done more for the organization, I felt like we had pieces, and we just couldn’t get over that hump. There were a lot of injuries, a lot of things that just held us back from having a successful season….

“(Jordan) was communicating with me, telling me to keep a positive head even though I had a rough year. This was one of the roughest seasons—injuries, not getting my spot back. I felt like I could help this squad, but it just didn’t go the way I planned it to go. It’s a good learning experience and it really humbled me, because when you have high expectations, you feel like you’re that guy. It made me feel like, “Hey, you’ve got to keep working. Never stop grinding. Don’t take this stuff for granted because playing basketball is a blessing and you’re getting paid for it.”

Although Stephenson’s stint with the Hornets was forgettable to say the least, the forward was fortunate enough to land in an ideal situation with the Clippers. Stephenson goes from a team that struggles to make the playoffs on annual basis in a weak Eastern Conference to a title-contending squad in Los Angeles.

Not only will a change of scenery be a good thing for Stephenson, but he has the potential to play a major role in Los Angeles. Stephenson will likely come off the bench behind Paul Pierce and could quickly become one of the team’s best defensive players.

Needless to say, after a devastating turn in Charlotte, Stephenson has been given a second chance in Los Angeles with the potential to win a title.

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