Former Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson will be suiting up in a new area code next season. Stephenson has signed a three-year, $27 million deal to play for the Charlotte Hornets.
The deal, which includes a team option for the third season, was signed early Wednesday morning after Hornets owner Michael Jordan, general manager Rich Cho, head coach Steve Clifford and associate head coach Patrick Ewing met with Stephenson and his representatives Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
“Lance is forever grateful for all the love he’s received from Pacers fans. He is especially grateful to his teammates, Frank Vogel, Herb Simon, the Pacers management and most of all, Larry Bird,” Stephenson’s agent, Alberto Ebanks, said in a statement. “While we tried our best to come to the best possible terms for both sides, there was not sufficient flexibility in the terms of the contract, particularly the length of the contract.
“Reports throughout the negotiation process with Indiana have often strayed from the truth but suffice it to say that it was less about the money. Lance will miss the city, the team and the mentor who helped transform him into the dynamic player he has become. He looks forward to making a strong contribution and beginning a new chapter with the Charlotte Hornets.”
Welp, no more “gold swagger,” maybe Jordan can teach Lance some better in-game distraction techniques that won’t end up as a meme.