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Thursday / October 19.
  • Stephensons Talk Recruiting & Much More

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    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — It was late in the third quarter of the Frankie Williams Charity Classic when Lance Stephenson finally donned a white No. 24 jersey and checked into the game.

    After taking a test at school and getting delayed by traffic, Stephenson played only about 15 minutes in a contest his White team lost 128-122 to the Blue team, but he sure made news in the time he was there.

    In a wide-ranging interview, Stephenson and his father, Lance Stephenson Sr., talked about the schools they’re still considering; the recruiting process; the pending sexual assault case; the recent Washington Post story which was highly critical of Lance and his father; the BornReady.TV Website; and whether Lance Sr. has ever asked for money in the recruiting process.

    The 6-foot-5 Stephenson is a McDonald’s All-American and the all-time leading scorer in New York State history. He seemed poised to pick Kansas in late March, but held off and the Jayhawks eventually received a commitment from Xavier Henry instead. Now Stephenson says he’s considering four schools.

    “Arizona, Florida, Memphis and Maryland. I don’t have a favorite,” Stephenson said after scoring 21 points in the loss.

    Stephenson faces a sexual assault hearing on June 29 in Brooklyn Criminal Court, and any school willing to take his commitment would likely want that case resolved first.

    “I’m just taking my time,” he said. “I got about three more weeks so I’m just going to stay focused, work out and play a little more ball. I got three more weeks to make my decision.”

    Asked if he had a specific date in mind, Stephenson said, “No.”

    Stephenson has taken official visits to Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s and has two remaining. Lance Sr. said his son would take his two remaining visits — presumably to some combination of Arizona, Florida and Memphis — but declined to say when or where the visits would take place.

    “We have two official visits left and we’re going to use those last two visits real wise,” Lance Sr. said. “At this point we’re just trying to keep Lance’s recruitment private so that he can actually be recruited.”

    The Washington Post story was critical of Lance Sr.’s involvement in his son’s recruitment, saying that sources said “his father’s involvement has been heavy-handed to the point of becoming detrimental. Those sources also indicated some coaches were apprehensive of the role the father would assume once Stephenson arrived on campus.”

    In response, Lance Sr. said: “Well, The Washington Post’s opinion is like an asshole. Everybody got one. It’s just opinion.”

    He added: “I haven’t heard a coach say my presence in the situation has hindered his recruitment so it’s just speculations and opinions. The Washington Post is a big-time newspaper and we have a lot of respect for them, but it’s their opinion. What more can I say about it?”

    Lance Sr. added that he felt the media had turned on him and his son and to some extent, I have to agree. Consider the things that have been said and written about Lance Stephenson in recent weeks by every Joe Blogger with an Internet connection out there, most of whom have never met Lance or his father. Lance has been called a thug, a killer of programs and all manner of other bad names.

    Now this is me saying this, not Lance Sr., but seriously, would the media ever talk about a white player like this? Somehow members of the media seem to toss out these terms more often when talking about black athletes than white ones.

    “Lance just wants to play ball,” his father said. “I think he gets a bad rap because the people want to talk to him and want to be around him. He as a player and us as a family have allowed the media to be involved with us. And it seems like at this point the media is turning on him.”

    He added: “I think that he and his family have been fair with the media and we just ask for the same respect….If the media will just bear with us, I think Lance will be that player that everybody thinks he can be.”

    As for the court case, Lance Sr. said his son wants his name cleared. Alberto Ebanks, the Stephensons’ attorney, is hoping to get the case dismissed or plea bargained, but on Thursday Ebanks indicated there was no news and the case seemed headed for adjudication on June 29.

    “The court case is out there and that’s just something he’s got to go through,” Lance Sr. said of his son. “He wants his name cleared and he wants to be recognized as a good person on and off the court.”

    On the subject of academics, Lance Sr. said his son would definitely qualify for college.

    “He’s going to qualify and we’re happy for that. We just want him to finish with school so he can go on to the next level,” he said.

    While there are rumors out there that Lance Sr. has asked for money in exchange for sending his son to school, the father flatly denied them as false.

    “All we ask for is for an opportunity for our kid to play basketball, that’s it,” he said. “We only dealt with St. John’s, Maryland and Kansas and…we just want our son to play ball. We recognize that a scholarship is money because you’re getting a free ride at a prestigious university. So money is not something that me and my wife are out to get for Lance.

    “We come to events like this [Charity Classic] and nobody offered us money or gave us money, so I couldn’t see a coach saying that we wanted money. That’s not the reason why we didn’t pick a certain school. That’s definitely a violation. We don’t want to do anything to break the rules.”

    As for colleges, Lance Sr. has always said he wanted to get his son out of New York and thus perhaps it didn’t come as a surprise that St. John’s was not in the final mix. But Lance Sr. said his son also feels proud to represent New York City.

    “I love New York and I don’t want to make New York sound like it’s hell, because it’s not,” he said. “Lance comes into the game repping New York first, Brooklyn second and Coney Island. He loves New York and there’s nothing about trying to get away because of this.

    “I feel like he went through this whole process unharmed and he pretty much did everything he said he was going to do, that’s win four championships, he broke the scoring record, he led Lincoln in rebounding, I thought he made his teammates better.”

    Kansas seemed like a likely destination for Lance in late March, but after John Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky, Henry became available and Kansas got him instead.

    “This is a long process and you have to be sure of where you want to go and what you want to do. Kansas is a good program but we just have to look out for Lance and make sure that he’s comfortable,” Lance Sr. said.

    As for reports that the BornReady.tv Website triggered Kansas or other schools to back off Lance’s recruitment, Lance Sr. said he believes the site is in compliance with NCAA regulations.

    “The people from Born Ready did the documentary in compliance with the NCAA and we made sure that everything was done right and it was legal to do it,” he said.

    The Washington Post reported that compliance officers said “a school likely will look into any prospective athlete’s affiliation with a Web site to determine whether the relationship produced compensation for the athlete or his family, whether a third party like an agent or financial adviser was involved and what prompted the company producing the Web site to form the relationship in the first place.”

    The newspaper said representatives from Fader Films and Den of Thieves, the production companies that run bornready.tv, declined to comment for their story.

    The NCAA did not begin investigating Renardo Sidney until he committed to Mississippi State, so a potential investigation of BornReady.tv likely wouldn’t begin until Stephenson committed to a school, a college coach involved in his recruitment said.

    As for the schools still remaining, Lance Sr. said Maryland was in the hunt for Lance’s services.

    “I talk with Coach [Gary] Williams, Coach [Keith] Booth and Coach [Chuck] Driesell, they’ve just been there,” he said. “Maryland is going through their process where they want to pick a player and they’re not putting any rush on us. They want Lance to be sure if he does want to go to Maryland, that he really wants to be there. Maryland has been really patient in working with the family.”

    Both Memphis and Florida are also apparently in the mix, although Lance Sr. didn’t comment specifically on them.

    Memphis coach Josh Pastner told me the other night that his school is still interested in landing a few more players.

    “If we have an opportunity to sign a few more we will, but they’ve got to be good enough,” Pastner said.

    Florida appears to have gotten into the mix late. The Gators are losing point guard Nick Calathes to Greece but will bring in point guard Kenny Boynton to complement Erving Walker.

    As for Arizona, Lance Sr. said Arizona-bound guard Kevin Parrom is helping to recruit Lance to the PAC-10.

    “Kevin’s been wonderful,” he said. “He really wants to play with Lance. He expressed that to me and to Lance. He said, ‘Hey, come down for a visit,’ similar to the way that James Padgett talked about taking a visit to Maryland. ‘Hey Lance, you gotta come down and check out Maryland.’ Well, Kevin’s doing the same thing. He really wants to see him and Lance play together on the same team. It would be a New York thing.”

    Stephenson was in Arizona several years ago for an AAU event, the Cactus Classic, but Lance Sr. would not comment on whether his son will take an official to the campus.

    “We’re looking into a lot of schools and we’re just going to narrow it down. There’s no rush,” he said. “I don’t want to say any school’s in the lead or reveal our moves. We’re just going to make a move and stick with it and you guys will be the first to know.”

    NOTES:

    Pitt-bound forward Dante Taylor, a Greenburgh native who is pictured at left, was named MVP of his home tournament after pouring in a team-high 32 points for the Blue team, many on rim-rocking dunks. Cincinnati-bound wing Sean Kilpatrick scored 26 points for the winners, including back-to-back 3’s, and looked highly impressive in taking St. John’s-bound wing Omari Lawrence one-on-one. Miami commit Durand Scott chipped in with 21 points and Kansas State commit Jordan Henriquez added 11 points..

    For the losers, Marshall-bound big man Hassan Whiteside led all scorers with 37 points, scoring at will on leaping dunks. He was given the Sportsmanship Award. Providence-bound guard Vincent Council added 15 points and Russ Smith and Brian Voelkel scored 13 apiece.

    Lawrence scored 10 points for the White team and said he will play for Jamaica in the upcoming FIBA U19 World Championships in New Zealand.

    SPECIAL THANKS

    Special thanks to Benjamin Carter, Dave Vandiver, Tom SampognaCourtney Abrams and the folks from FRENJI Sports for putting on a first-class event for a good cause and taking care of the media. The fish sandwich and maccaroni & cheese were especially tasty.

    (Photos courtesy Lonnie Webb Photography)

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • “Now this is me saying this, not Lance Sr., but seriously, would the media ever talk about a white player like this? Somehow members of the media seem to toss out these terms more often when talking about black athletes than white ones.”

      ???!!!

      Are you kidding me? Crap like this is exactly why we as a society can never move forward. There’s always one asshole HACK reporter looking to get noticed that tries to interject some non-existent race crap into a story hoping a real publication will notice them. What a sad, self-righteous asshat you are, Adam.

      You know, this kid has enough distractions, but be it far from you to simply report the facts; rather, you try to throw into the mix perhaps the one element NOT present in his recruitment. I hope this blog entry is dismissed as a self-serving joke, much in the manner most of your others blogs are.

      Oh…and in answer to your question. Yes. YES, THEY DO ALL THE TIME. And I think it’s because their white. See:
      Marv Marinovich, Rick Barry, Carl Lindros, the fathers of tennis teens Jelena Dokic, Mary Pierce, and Jennifer Capriati…..etc.

      • Ya this isn’t a blog, he CAN’T have an opinion. Remember, Adam is a robot.

        (Comments are right below the belt)

      • PKelly~ Maybe you’ve not been exposed to this, but I’ve read enough comments on the Louisville Courier-Journal website to know exactly what Adam is saying. “Thug” and “tattooed thug” (worse) have become popular disparaging code words for certain black players, including Lance. Especially Lance. Don’t be naive. It’s pretty transparent what’s going on.

        Adam isn’t off base here. He’s not the one throwing race into the mix. He’s only noticing what ‘s going on around him. You should, too.

    • That comment wasn’t necc for this posting because it will utlimately go to far. But he is right. People do have a different attitude because of ignorance.

      Lance case is different. He has built a hype machine and everyone is trying to make a buck off of him now. So he has become teh poster boy for young ill tempered athletes. The reality is that most of them seem to have something missing when it comes to social skills.

      Lance is young and I believe all of this will make him stronger. He will learn how to let stuff go and focus on his game.

    • Pkelly, the reason that we can’t move forward is because anytime someone brings up the subject, usually, someone of caucasion heritage shoots it down and acts as if it’s the most ludicrous idea ever. As if prejudice and Racism aren’t brother and sister in American history.

      Adam, very very good question and you see by the first response you had posted what most reaction would be. Has Lance, other than this sexual assault trial ever been arrested? Convicted? Anything? Heck, the girl could easily be lying about what happened. Women lie on men all the time about sexual issues.. I just saw a movie the other day, ROSEWOOD, and a white woman was sleeping around, the dude called a a “W***RE” and left her alone… She gets mad and says she was raped by a black dude.

      I don’t know Lance from Joe Blow, and to think the kid is a thug without seeing him daily and knowing him is flat out prejudice… How is he a program killer before he even gets to a program? Does he have an atittude? Probably. About 80 percent of the Top 50 players each year seem to have them.

      There is an issue in the inner city where kids who are talented are spotted at an early age and they are raised to be STARS… As a black man, and a HS basketball coach, this bothers me a great deal… Both because it sets our black men up for failure and two, you just don’t realize how many hands are involved. Whites, Blacks, whatever, everybody who can capitalize off kids like Lance will do their best to try to.

      PKelly, I don’t ever recall a white player ever being called a thug by the media… so please direct me if I’m wrong. Usually, I read they were misguided and made a mistake… Like the kid going to UT to play football, Daniel Hood… He was charged with sexually assaulting his own cousin… Not once did I hear he was a thug. Heard a lot of excuses from UT fans.

      Racism and prejudice will NEVER die out. It’s just interwoven too much into American society. It’s as American as Apple Pie.

      The Post article was a HACK… So a black father takes pride in his son and wants to be involved in every aspect and doesn’t want coaches to try to go over his head??? I’d say that’s damn responsible. I’ve seen coaches try to do that… Ease around the parents and get into the kid’s mind…

      Not one person complained about Tim Tebow’s father being at all the practices at UF or sometimes rubbing people the wrong way because of his expectations and demands… But you didn’t hear the media really report on those… Because Tim Tebow is the Golden Boy. Lance is just a few shades Darker…

      Good Blog, Adam!

    • Folks,

      Thanks for the comments, and I’m sure there will be many more. I realized when I wrote this that it would be perceived as highly charged and controversial, but only because race has often been called “the third rail of American life.”

      Pkelly, I appreciate your comment, even if it is non-responsive to the point I’m making.

      My point is this: Do a Google news search for Lance Stephenson and you will find the following keywords as a sampling to describe him: “chemistry killer,” “program killer,” “problem,” “petulant,” “can’t keep his hands to himself” and other, harsher comments that I won’t mention here.

      Most, if not all, of these articles and blogs were written by white reporters, some of whom have never met Lance or his family.

      This is an 18-year-old high school student with many accolades we are talking about here. Is it really appropriate to use these terms to describe him?

      How would you feel if he were your son, nephew or cousin?

      And are these terms ever used to describe white players? if anyone has an example, I’d love to see it.

      It’s similar to the way black athletes have historically been called “talented,” “natural” and “monsters,” while white athletes are “heady,” “hardworking” and “gutsy.’

      Pkelly, you are correct that this topic hasn’t yet been interjected into the discussion. That is because most sports reporters a) are white; b) tend not to cover race in their stories; and c) focus mainly on the basics of recruiting and basketball.

      I’m raising it here because, frankly, I’m sick and tired of reading people write about Lance who don’t know much and simply haven’t done their homework.

      I presume you are mentioning Jelena Dokic’s father and the other fathers as some sort of parallel, although I don’t know why.

      Damir Dokic is facing jail time for a bomb threat. And Jim Pierce was volatile and abusive from the stands and ultimately separated from his daughter.

      I fail to see the analogy between these guys and Lance or his father.

      Race always has been, and probably always will be, a highly sensitive subject in this country and pretending that it’s not is just ignorant.

      Race and sports have always been intertwined and I’m simply pointing out that the media should be more conscious of the language it uses to describe athletes.

      Especially when they are 18-year-old high school kids.

      Adam Zagoria

      • As a current University of Arizona student and basketball fan, I have taken the time to read every Lance Stephenson article available. I don’t think it’s fair to call this racism if the comments are true. I will first state that I have never met Lance Stephenson or seen him play in person. However, there is report after report that states he bickers and squabbles with his teammates in every game that he plays in. In the first episode of his bornready.tv entitled “Who is Lance Stephenson” you seem him go to the hole, get fouled, and precede to chuck the basketball at the head of the defender and try to fight him. I can’t tell if the court case is just some girl trying to take advantage of his fame or if the claim is real but obviously it doesn’t help things. If Adam wants to play the race card here, I think it is only fair that you would have to refute all these other claims. I believe that if a white kid did these things, they would be blasted by the media in equal fashion.

        Regarding Lance’s recruitment to Arizona, the most important thing to consider right now is that HE DOES NOT CURRENTLY HOLD A SCHOLARSHIP OFFER TO OUR SCHOOL. Our coaches our aware of all of his different problems, (Asst. Coach Book Richardson knows Lance and has coached him before) but it really boils down to one thing. IS LANCE ELIGIBLE TO PLAY NCAA BASKETBALL. There is no refuting that he is a top 10 player in the country and Arizona could really use that right now but we are not going to take him if it risks having the season stricken from the record books. We are currently recruiting him but he doesn’t get the offer until we know that he is eligible. I would say that is probably the same situation with all major programs right now. Lance couldn’t commit to any of his top four schools today if he wanted to. As a fan, there is nothing more that I want then for him to be deemed eligible and come to Arizona but until that happens, he will remain uncommitted.

      • Wesleyan,

        Why do you think the nation’s premier coaches have all taken a pass?

        1)The incident between Stephenson and Mayo at the ABCD Camp.

        2) You aren’t mentioning the infamous Conrad McRae tournament, where “Stretch” threw a beer bottle at the referee. It broke and ended the charity tournament. His father simply didn’t get charged. That was the start of destroying his reputation. Ask Tom Konchalski.

        3) He pulled his meal ticket out of Bishop Loughlin after three days. There has been a lot of speculation that something changed hands, causing the ever ethical “Tiny” Morton to wind up with the latest overhyped NYer.

        4) His on-court antics have done him no favors. The scowls, the technicals, the endless whining have only increased his reputation for being the poster boy for bad behavior in the class of 2009.

        5) Since you seem to feel extremely guilty about your race, it took a white man (Bob McKillop) to stand up to Lance and cut him down to size last summer.

        6) His father, looking to get a nice cut of the AAU money, took his boy away from Morton’s summer league scam last summer and set up hiw travel team. Stretch proceded to get ejected repeatedly from AAU games, while losing consistently. This only further damaged an almost destroyed reputation.

        7) He consented to that silly documentary on Born Ready, until it proved to embarrassing.

        8) He managed to bring another kid into this world, while getting accused of sexually assaulting another high school girl.

        9) Stephenson has managed to find one last blogger willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as long as he has access.

        10) As for a white example, look at the Duke lacrosse case. Perhaps you read some commentary on it.

    • Daviovegas,

      I believe you completely missed my point here, which actually serves to my point, and equally makes me sad. This was a self serving attempt at attention by this guy. Plain and simple. There are many situations that could use someone stepping up and challenging a person’s motives, but there are equally as many and perhaps even more where such a challenge is way off base and serves to open old wounds which are actually not even relevant to the situation at hand. To me this is just that. There is not a reason on any level for race to enter this recruitment. There may very well be race issues at play at deeper levels adjacent to the actual recruitment, as I believe you put so well, but not straight up in discussing Lance’s recruitment. At least there wasn’t unti now. Again, exactly the point I was trying to make.

      That being said, more than not I find myself in agreement with much of what you wrote, and find it encouraging that you dove into the deeper issues at play in the basketball community as a whole. This tells me that the concerns I hold about our youth are also being noticed by individuals, such as coaches, who can make a difference. Had Zag directed his comment in this direction, I would have probably applauded his effort. I do applaud your convictions, for I believe from what I read you are the kind of individual who can, and usually does, make a difference.

      • PKelly,

        It’s all good. I don’t like to talk about race because people tend to use it as a crutch, but I also can’t stand by idle when it’s been swept under the rug.

        Race is always a touchy subject, especially for the majority to hear that they may have been at fault in perpetuating the situation.

        Kids are just different these days. Inner city kids from urban areas are even more uncanny. When you take time to study their backgrounds and situations and different coping mechanisms they’ve had to acquire and deal with just to “SURVIVE”.. it gives you a totally different perspective than just being some beat writer who wants to stir up some controversey and say, “Player X is a thug, selfish, etc.”

        Kids from inner cities are selfish at times, as far as wanting the best for them because many of them struggle on levels that often others who are blessed do not even have to fathom.

        Imagine being a kid who is a basketball phenom, but your parents work low paying jobs and struggle to keep food on the table and rent paid on time. Imagine having handlers constantly running in your face, knowing that you have million dollar potential and they are catering to your every need just hoping that they get payback later down the road.

        Imagine how that effects one’s psyche… especially like Adam said, 18 year old kids. Lance isn’t a Shane Battier type kid… He didn’t go to a private school, Shane didnt have the same pitfalls and obstacles as Lance may have. That’s not Shane’s fault, but neither is it Lance’s.

        Lance is going to be a major bread winner for his family in a few years…A chance to change their lifestyle and give them security and I think that’s something that many sportswriters have who do these negative pieces about these kids who come from “HARDER situations”… I believe there is a bit of jealousy… especially when knowing a kid from Coney Island is going to be making 3 to 5 times their annual Salary before he’s 21 years old.

    • The Washington Post/asshole comment by the father was spot on. Worst paper in America.

      • “The Washington Post/asshole comment by the father was spot on. Worst paper in America.”

        ….and on THAT we can all agree!

        And to be fair, I must applaud Adam for not writing for the Post!

    • Gerry McNamara = thug…..just sayin’

      • McNamara or Devendorf? I never heard anything bad about Gerry. As far as the reference to Stephenson having a kid… So what? He’ll be a millionaire soon enough. So the kid won’t want for much. Why was that brought up? Cuz the kid was out of wedlock? Lebron has 2 like that. Lebron also is worth close to 200 million so his kids are eating Steak and Shrimp…

        Nobody is saying Lance is perfect…. I got into a fight with a teammate because he was bullsh**** and it cost us a victory. As far as Lance quitting when his team got down to Rice… Well, he has some growing up to do. He’s been a pampered athlete.

        Jayhawkfan, I agree to an extent on Jon Hood, but I doubt it would have made the Washington Post. Hood isn’t as big of a name or star as Lance. The issue is WHY is it that big of a story? Outside of Basketball junkies and people in New York and recruiting circles, they couldn’t pick Lance Stephenson out of a lineup.

        I just hope Lance finds a place and puts it together and makes a career for himself. Hoopin is his way out… Hope he makes the most of it.

    • If Jon Hood from Kentucky had backed out on his commitment to UK at the last second when Gillespie was fired, then was brought up on a sexual assault case, and was still trying to find a school I doubt the media would be giving him a free pass. I honestly believe that it has nothing to do with Lance’s skin color. His recruiting has been a circus. He has a website that is shady, his name has been brought up in a sexual assault case, etc. I think he just needs to pick a school, then lay low, get this court stuff behind him and just play ball. He will be fine.

      I think he ends up at Florida or Arizona.

    • Adam you are dead on the money with your reply above.

      I’m a white guy who when a lot younger used to joke around with my black friends about the descriptions used by the news media. If a player was white he was scrappy and hard-nosed, it he was black he was athletic and talented. Now that I’ve matured it’s really unfortunate.

      In addition black players are frequently compared to black players and whites to whites.

      The last time I looked Lebron James shows the same crafty passing ability, cerebral nature of getting his teammates involved first and the same exact height as one Larry Bird, but I’ve never in my life heard him compared to Larry Legend. Perhaps his game is much more similar to MJ and Magic but his mental game has a lot of Larry in it, but you’ll never hear that.

      So many reporters see and judge on a subconscious level. I am convinced that they aren’t even aware of it, it’s so deeply ingrained in their minds.

      Of course there are plenty of people who don’t see race in this issue. But there are plenty who do, many of whom happen to be reporters who spread their opinion to the masses. They have an influence and responsibility to report the truth.

      If people can just see people things would improve. The only way this starts to happen is if more columns like this pop up, however uncomfortable it is for some to accept. Kudos Adam.

      And for people who say that racism will never go away, you just did your part to ensure that it will never go away. It’s the perception of each and every person that forms the whole reality.

    • Gerry Mcnamara, Christian Drejer, Josh McRoberts….there’s three white players
      who were branded “program-killers” or the like.

      McRoberts, Jake Long (football player) and perhaps Mike Mamula have been referred to as “freaks.” Brandin Knight, Brevin Knight, perhaps even Mateen Cleaves were “gutsy.” Way to perpetuate things that have faded for more hits, Mr. Zagoria. Stop living in your bubble.

      But aside from such things, let’s not let this degenerate into a conversation about ancient stereotypes. This is about Lance.

      Whether hacks like Adam want to admit it, there is something different and wrong about Lance. If that wasn’t the truth, well then he would have been scooped up by a program, just like John Wall, who has an arrest, and Renardo Sidney, who is being investigated. But Lance has problems and questions around him stemming from a lengthy lengthy variety of things.

      If he didn’t he would be at a school now. College coaches don’t follow along with the media…THEY often actualy get a chance to get to know a kid.

      But here are the FACTS – not assertions – about Stephenson. He has a kid, has had one since last year. He got in a fight with a teammate last year. He stopped playing when Lincoln got down to Rice in the state championship game. He is embroiled in a lawsuit.

      Truth of the matter is Adam, you don’t know Lance either. You’ve caught him at a few press events and think you know him. But you’ve never gone through an entire day with him so you see Lance Stephenson through pathetically rose-colored glasses. Worst part of all: apparently you’ve failed to take those glasses off, as you do with most of your recruiting stories.

      You have a pathetically innate ability to report EXACTLY what people say without actually thinking for yourself that somebody could be giving you false information or that somebody is telling you what they want to say.

      And, for the record, I’m not white either. Just actually objective.

      • missinberniemac:

        So your argument is that because he has a kid and has gotten into fights it’s acceptable to call him a “program killer,” a “problem” or a “chemistry killer”?

        That, my friend, is a brilliant argument.

        What high school kid do you know that has never been in a fight? I know I was in a couple in high school and everything we do when we’re 17 or 18 isn’t always the smartest.

        He’s also won 4 straight city titles and set the New York state scoring record, so he can’t be a complete program killer. Can he?

        He’s also an 18-year-old kid and my point is that the media’s language has generally been unduly harsh….and that this same language is generally not used to describe white players.

        As for the rose colored glasses comments, what can I say, except that you are misinformed.

        Last summer I wrote an extensive story when Lance was cut from the USA U18 team and I quoted numerous sources.

        Do I try and quote people accurately? You bet I do, and thanks for noticing.

        I generally quote a variety of sources on Lance, from Tom Konchalski to Sonny Vaccaro to various coaches. Go back and look through the archives on this blog and I think you’ll generally find fair and balanced coverage.

        Adam Zagoria

    • daviovagas and Adam..You both have hit the nail on the head..It could not have been better said..I’ve watched every episode of Born Ready TV, and i saw an ordinary family trying to do whats best for their children..It took a lot for the family to allow everyone into their life..I’m going throught the recruiting process w/ my daughter, and can relate to what the Stephensons are going through..not on that level, but i understand..I want to put my kid in the best situation, and i cannot imagine being attacked for me trying to do that..What i can not comprehend are the personal attacks on a kid..Hopefully, we all can be a little less critical and a lot more tolerant because Lance has a lot of good to offer.

    • it seems like from what his father said that the terps have a slight advantage b/c of the steadiness of their recruiting and level of comfort/confidence that Lance’s father was portraying on the UMD program

    • Well 3 schools are in the mix that have not been visited …..so the one not visited will be toast . My feeling now is he’s leaning Arizona and is intrigued by Florida’s late push . Maryland and Memphis seem to be the longshots here imo.

      • in reference to what you just read can you please explain your reasoning for he is leaning towards Arizona and his “intrigued” by Florida.

        and if your answer is Parrom then my response will be Padgett.

        • Florida is the new player …. its human nature to be intrigued by a shiny new toy …… Arizona is just a gut feeling …no real indication .

    • Although I wouldn’t underestimate Josh Pastner’s ability to change the dynamic ….he’s a great recruiter .

    • He’s probably listing Maryland as a courtesy . They have no real shot ….especially after the UA controversy.

      • I believe the controversey was blown way out of proportion as no violation was found.

    • That Washington Post article was to poison the well to make it even less likely that Lance will go to Maryland. Those SOBs cover Maryland athletics fairly extensively because of sheer market forces in the DC area but they love to undermine Gary when they can find some remotely ‘plausible’ angle to exploit.

    • I haven’t read the Washington Post article …..but I see no sense in criticizing a father for being involved in the recruiting process ….aggressively if they so desire. After all these kids are what ? 1 7 , 18 years old . They are among the best 100 high school basketball players in the country and they know that maybe 25% or more of that group will become multi millionaires within the next 24 to 36 months . Hey no pressure kid …make a decision …but don’t hire a professional advisor or we’ll throw the book at you . Its ludicrous to criticize a parent in this situation….its his family and its his kid’s life …..mind your own frigging business please Washington Post .

    • Adam, you are 100% correct. Everyone else here is just turning a blind eye to the predominantly white media and then coming up with the few white players who have been negatively branded to make their point. Keep up the great work.

    • http://www.azstarnet.com/sports/294854

      Arizona coach Sean Miller that the possibility of adding a 4th recruit, either Stephenson or Famous, is slim.

      • “Arizona coach Sean Miller that the possibility of adding a 4th recruit, either Stephenson or Famous, is slim.”…. it’s because Lance Stephenson has added/removed schools from his list almost weekly. I do believe that Sean Miller and Book Richardson are going after Lance full force.

        My bet is he goes to AZ… maybe Florida.

        • They aren’t going after him full force. They stay in contact occasionally, but they will not recruit him in full force unless they think he is eligible. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even been given the choice to visit Arizona as of right now.

    • missinberniemac, dont be such a d-bag.

      pastaboy, is it really necessary to post 3 or 4 comments in a row? Can you not get everything you want out in one comment? Come on bro.

      P.S. missinberniemac, quit being a loser.

      ROCK CHALK!!

    • sorry gayhawk ….its just that I never know when these gems are going to pop into my head …..

      • Way to go! Show them how much a class act you are by showing your maturity! You’re awesome!

    • Blasphemy …I refer to jayhawk as gayhawk in strictly a jocular sense ….. this is a sports blog ….. try to lighten up and have some fun….. I sense alot od frustration and anger in your posts .

      • Really? Wow, I’m stunned! Guess the whole sarcasm thing must have thrown you off.

    • Pastaboy

      You keep saying Maryland has no shot and it’s a “done deal” for Memphis. You have something against Maryland – not sure why – but why don’t you take the word of the Father over your wishful thinking that he ends up in Memphis? Maybe he’ll end up in Memphis, but it’s far from a sure thing. Lance’s dad listed the four schools and I’ll take him at his word that there is no favorite right now. Maybe you’ll get your wish, maybe not.

      Lance’s Dad sounds like a good Father – I hope this kid settles into college and can start living like a teenager again. I have no opinion on his court case, but incidents like that aren’t restricted to people based upon their race.

      • Old ….. reread my post ….. I have both Memphis and Maryland as long shots

        • Maybe that’s what you have today, but you were posting early this week that it was a “done deal” for Memphis. Yes, everyone is permitted to change their mind, nothing wrong with that, but at least admit you said it rather than pretend you didn’t.

          • I thought Memphis was a done deal until I read Adam’s article today …..now I’m picking Arizona

    • try to get some help

    • I think they’ve already made a decision, or are heavily favoring someone already, they are just waiting on the court case (understandable, but it still feels like grandstanding). What I got from this is it sounds like his dad is really high on Maryland while Arizona has done a great job courting them, not much talk of Memphis or Florida, which puts them at longshots. It’s interesting that Memphis was mentioned by them, they’ve been considered a top suiter for some time, but the Stephensons hardly ever speak of them, one would think the Tigers would be off their list by now. Like someone said above with Florida, they are the shiny new toy, but, statistically speaking (I don’t have numbers in front of me), they’ve entered way too late to make a serious impact (think Latavious Williams and FIU). I don’t know, I think Maryland ultimately comes out on top as they’ve been in it the longest and Sr. has nothing but praise for them, the fans of Arizona and Memphis are just hoping for a last second miracle.

    • Hey! Settle down, OldTerp. Don’t piss off Pastaboy. He’s one of Adam’s “sources” you know! Besides, you wouldn’t want him unleashing one of those amazingly quick witted “Gems” on you….you may never recover from such brilliance.

      On Lance’s dad…..the more this circus runs, the more I am really starting to think this guy was able to stay focused on THEIR PLAN. Not the plan everybody else wanted him to have, nor the plan we all think we have a right to judge. Their Plan. I am also starting to believe once everything is said and done a couple of years from now, he’ll have saved Lance from a lot of tough situations. Perhaps for once an intrusive father has kept the external vultures at bay, and kept it in the family. I am a DC native…..he totally won me over with his Post comment. If Lance were to end up at MD, that comment alone has won over the majority of the fan base. He’ll be treated like a celebrity the stands……….

    • Lance is the next OJ Mayo or Derrick Rose – big trouble for the school that signs him. He should be allowed to go straight to the NBA and let a professional team deal with his problems.

      My feeling is that Arizona is the leader for him.

    • PKelly – quit dissin A.Z. I really enjoy all his blogs. I think he does a great job. Clearly you disagree with his opinion, but no need to attack like that. If you hate A.Z. and his blogs so much, why are you here?

    • I can’t say whether or not the media would jump all over Lance Stephenson if he was white…

      All I can say is… HE’S A BAD SEED. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. A PRIMADONNA…A ME-FIRST PLAYER.

      HE HAS A DAUGHTER AND WHEN A JOURNALIST ASKED ABOUT HER AND HIS FUTURE, HE CALLED HER AND I QUOTE, “AN OFF THE COURT ISSUE.” BEING A FATHER IS AN OFF THE COURT ISSUE TO LANCE. THAT MAKES YOU A BAD PERSON IN MY BOOK.

      ADD IN THE SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE…

      ADD IN HIS SHADY BORNREADY DOCUMENTARY AND WEBSITE AND HIS ELIGIBILITY STATUS..

      ADD IN HIS FIGHTING WITH TEAMMATES AND OPPONENTS..

      CALIPARI CALLED HIM A “TAKER” AND SAID HE WOULDN’T GIVE HIM A SCHOLARSHIP AND WE’VE ALREADY SEEN HOW STRINGENT CALIPARI IS IN HIS RECRUITING. (I’M A UK FAN BTW…) IF YOU CATCH MY DRIFT.

      DONE AND DONE…

      YOU GUYS CAN CONTINUE TO ARGUE ABOUT RACE, ETC. BUT PLEASE DON’T TRY TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR THIS KID.

      • I think you’re the reason for CAPITAL gains tax. Please……. take it down a notch with the capitals……..

    • jreeves his daughter is on off the court issue and does not need to be reported. So, Lance does not want to discuss his child with the press good for him. That does not make him a bad father.

      • Agree 100%, his daughter is NOT our business, and whether he is a public figure or not, her right to privacy is without question. Just because Brangalina and the Octamom like to show off their kids does not mean all celebrities must share their private lives and the lives of their children with the public. IMHO this doesn’t make him a bad father, it makes him a very good father.

        • He’s not a good father…he’s gonna pay her child support and that’s about it….

          See the quote from the interview below.

          • I didn’t read the whole article, I did skim through it and other than what you posted I didn’t see where his daughter was discussed nor what kind of father he is to her (absentee or otherwise). Regardless, it isn’t my business, nor should it be, what he does in his private life has little to do with what is expected of him on the court. Everyone has their problems, Shaq had an estranged father, Jordon and Barkley had/have insane gambling habits, Magic contracted AIDS yet they are grown adults and none of their vices diminished what they did on the court nor affect their Hall of Fame status. Simply put if the kid is a team player, and there’s no reason to think he couldn’t be (see Tyreke Evans for a so-called “selfish” player), what ever other bullshit you want to pin on him is irrelevant.

    • I agree with Danoacid.

      I also think that people shouldn’t sit here and act like Lance’s is a victim and that he’s an angel and all that.

      From what is written it looks like UMD-CP is favored.

    • MY APOLOGIES…

      I DIDN’T INCLUDE THE CONTEXT OF HIS QUOTE REGARDING HIS DAUGHTER…

      Here’s the quote from the interview.

      “When asked if becoming a father and going through the pending court case affected him, Stephenson said, “I’m focused on basketball, not off the court things.”

      “http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/web/COM1153818/index.htm

      That quote is not a remark of father who wants privacy for his family. It is the quote of a kid who wants desperately to become an NBA star and doesn’t give a shite about anything else.

      • OK then jreeves5319, he’s the frakkin devil, everyone grab your pitchforks!

        • Pitchforks and our non-capital letters!

      • He answered correctly in the eyes of any college recruiting him and in the eyes of NBA owners and GMs. The kid is not letting off the court issues bother his productivity on the court. He is able to separte his personal life from his professional life. Wouldn’t you like your employees to leave his personal life at home instead of bringing it to the office and slowing down productivity. Lance needs to focus on basketball to help his family.

    • UAWildcat — I see your point….

      However..

      1. He doesn’t have a family other than his mom and dad. He’s not married to his baby’s mother.

      And I still think that quote would be insensitive even from an NBA player.

      To lump a sexual assault charge along with your newborn child into “off the court” stuff…I think that’s pretty callous and it shows how selfish and immature this kid is…

      If he was only talking about the sexual assault charge…then your point is dead on. But throwing those two things in together…shows me all I need to know about Lance and the way he thinks.

      LORD2FLI — are you a Zona Wildcat too?

      You guys keep trying to convince yourselves that Lance is a stand up guy…and I’ll try to convince myself that Calipari never recruits knuckleheads…and that’s he’s completely on the up and up (I’m a UK Wildcat)…

      But we all know that’s just not true.

      • Not a Zona fan, I’m a Tiger fan, but I have no illusions that he’ll end up in Memphis, never have.

        The point I’m driving at is simple, I don’t know Stephnson, I don’t know if he is a jackass or a pretty cool cat, and quite frankly, neither do you. Further, I don’t know what context that quote was taken in, so I can’t take it as anything revealing. I do not know anything about his daughter OR his relationship with his daughter, no one does. I find it rather presumptuous on your part to use a quote that doesn’t lend much to anything and disparage the kid as a basis of his family values. If you think he is so morally frakked up, maybe you should ask why the person questioning him why they lumped his daughter and court case into the same question…

        • I can’t get over all of you apologists…

          One incident could be called a fluke, two incidents could still be called an odd coincidence..

          Three or more incidents — that’s what you call a pattern.

          SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE

          SUSPENDED FROM THE TEAM FOR 5 DAYS FOR THROWING A TEAMMATE THROUGH A GLASS TABLE AND SENDING HIM TO THE HOSPITAL

          ROUTINELY ARGUES WITH REFS AND TEAMMATES/OPPONENTS ON THE COURT

          HAS A CHILD OUT OF WEDLOCK…THAT HE’S CALLED AN OFF THE COURT ISSUE

          That to me is a laundry list of reasons that prove that this kid will be a cancer. A Stephon Marbury in the making…

          • Who cares about having a child out of wedlock. That in-and-of-itself is not at all an indictment of character.

          • Big Ben — you’re a moron.

            Did you read the whole post?

            Having a child out of wedlock is something that I feel is a mistake. I think Lance and the girl were irresponsible and that’s what led to them having a child. That, in of itself, is not a huge deal, or a huge indictment of Lance’s character.

            But, as I see it, that is just one of many mistakes this kid has made.

            He has a kid, he gets in fights on and off the court, he pouts on the court and argues with teammates and refs AND he’s been charged with sexual assault. Add it up!

            I guess you Lance apologists are big T.O. fans or at the very least big Starbury fans right?

            I like how Zagoria says — I was in a couple of fights when I was a kid…what 17 or 18 year hasn’t?

            Yeah Adam, how many fights were you in…in which you threw your opponent through a glass table? Or do you just think the table got in the way…in other words, it’s the table’s fault for being there in the first place.

    • Fantastic article. I agree with most everything. Especially with the fact that Josh Barr can be very opinionated, on the verge of being an ass (or at least pro Big East).

      And the race thing. I don’t think there is much race bias here. It just a guy, and his father, trying to find their way to the best college possible. Who can doubt that a father wants to see his son in the best collegiate circumstance possible? In fact, all the college fans at all these schools left under consideration seem to realize this. Speaking from the east coast crowd, we all want what is best for Lance. So does his father.

      Nobody is taking money. That is Wesley’s deal. Nothing is underhanded here. Sure, he may have flirted with some girl. She might have taken it the wrong way or he made a mistake and did things he shouldn’t have. That’s for a court to decide. Grabbing a girl in high school…..well, we should all respect a woman’s rights.

      All I can say is what I’ve said here previously. It’s no secret where I think the best fit for Lance is. The way his father talks, it might not be a one and done thing after all. At least, I think he wants the best collegiate experience for his son, and who can blame him for that?

    • Pkelly

      I hear you & agree that Lance’s Dad is doing his best to keep everything in perspective. Now – let’s all hope that the little girl will be cared for as this all proceeds.

    • Two things of note:

      1) Lance isn’t the only one charged in the sexual assault case, I think the Lincoln HS point guard is a co-defendant.

      2) There is a SI report that Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez is staying in the NBA draft.

    • I gotta believe that Greivis is staying. Otherwise he will take his chances jumping early. If he stays healthy, and improves his shot like he says he has, then he’ll climb into the first round next year.

      Greivis and Lance would make the best backcourt in the country. Just sayin’.

      • Greivis and Lance > Jodie Meeks (a 54 point game with a handfull of other 40+ games) and John Wall and Eric Bledsoe? Oh, wait, I forgot you were having hallucinations of grandeur when you wrote that.

        • Note: this is not saying that J.M., Wall, and Bledsoe are the best, but only implies that U.K.’s new backcourt is better than Greivis and Lance and whatever else Maryland has.

    • Greivis is cocky enough to think he’s first round talent – maybe he’s right, maybe not. If I were betting, I’d say he’s staying in the draft.

      When is the pre-draft camp? Next week or did it already happen? I forget.

      • NBA Pre Draft Camp already happened. Vasquez didn’t do too well there but has performed well in work outs for teams. I think he’s got some work outs with Portland, Sacramento and Minnesota between now and 6/14.

    • Vasquez can play at Md. for another 5 years and he’ll never be anything but a late 2nd rounder …… no room in the NBA for smack talkers who are slow and can’t shoot ….. he’ll be driving a cab in Caracus in 5 years .

    • Pasta

      I know Vasquez talked a lot before the Memphis blowout in this year’s tourney so I understand why you think he’s a punk. Is there anybody that played at Maryland that you like?

      • I thought Joe Smith was legit

    • Fair enough – as for Vasquez, your prediction for his future was pretty funny. I think second round is accurate and yes – he’d have to really improve his shooting to make any team. He’s too slow to be a good point guard.

    • Greivis has actually made it pretty clear for a long time I think that he is done with school. This year’s draft is considered weak and he wants to start getting some money to send home. And if that ends up being money from playing in Europe then I think he is resigned to that, although he probably thinks he can definitely make a place for himself on somebody’s NBA bench. With his size I think he gets at least a couple low salary years somewhere to see what he can do.

    • So what he has a kid? Yes, that it an off the court issue. Why are reporters asking him about that? How many times do we see athletes in press conferences say “I’m only answering basketball related questions..” ? Where’s the harm in that? Now, the kid may be a problem, maybe he’s selfish, a ME first player, but these are all our perceptions. As of now all he’s done is win 4 Championships and score like none other. If indeed he ends up having more personal issues in college, some of you will have been correct, but why don’t you wait until he actually messes up before you crucify him? He’s made mistakes, but he’s not actually in trouble for anything as of yet. I’m sure we all made similar mistakes in our youth, we just weren’t HS All-Americans, so all that happened was you staying home and no allowance….put it in perspective people!

      • I can’t get over all of you apologists…

        One incident could be called a fluke, two incidents could still be called an odd coincidence..

        Three or more incidents — that’s what you call a pattern.

        SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE

        SUSPENDED FROM THE TEAM FOR 5 DAYS FOR THROWING A TEAMMATE THROUGH A GLASS TABLE AND SENDING HIM TO THE HOSPITAL

        ROUTINELY ARGUES WITH REFS AND TEAMMATES/OPPONENTS ON THE COURT

        HAS A CHILD OUT OF WEDLOCK…THAT HE’S CALLED AN OFF THE COURT ISSUE.

        That to me is a laundry list of reasons that prove that this kid will be a cancer. A Stephon Marbury in the making…

        PS…for all of you douchebags that continue to agree with his non-comment about his child. Stop it. Lance was not making a plea to shield his child from the media’s spotlight. He was auditioning for the NBA…

        • What can I say, you see what you want to see, I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt since there is much I don’t see. The media sensationalizes…I mean reports whatever and however they want. If they don’t like you then attack from all directions, if they like you they ignore your indiscretions, it’s not a conspiracy, it’s not even shocking at this point.

          jreeves5319 you strike me as a narrow-minded bible-thumper who looks for any excuse to bash on someone and condemn them. As I’ve stated time and again, I don’t know Lance, AND NEITHER DO YOU (see you’re not the only asshole who can type in all CAPS!), assume the worst at your own expense, but don’t be so naive. Lance is a basketball player, nothing more, he will be expected to do well on the court, what he does off of it has little bearing on this, so please Mr. Preacher, take your bullshit elsewhere.

          • LORD2FLI…

            Just so you know, I don’t own a bible. I don’t subscribe to organized religion.

            Out of wedlock is easier to say and explain rather than saying…Lance got a girl pregnant and he has no intention of marrying her and starting a family. I guess I should have used illegitimate instead. My apologies. Both terms have the same implications.

            And please don’t go a step further and assume that I’m against gay marriage since you misread me so badly before.

            By all means, keep giving people the benefit of the doubt. That should work out well for you.

            A better way to sum me up would be to say that I’m simply not an apologist.

            I don’t make excuses for myself and I don’t accept repeated excuses from other people.

            More and more, Americans are becoming more lenient and expecting less in terms of performance, responsibility from other people. We give out participation awards for everything and downplay actual achievement.

            It’s sad really. More and more…it’s like everyone wants to say…It’s not your fault.

            Well sometimes…and probably most of the time…IT IS YOUR OWN DAMN FAULT.

            In this case, it’s the media’s fault.

            The media loves to muckrake, right? Well that’s pretty much true. The way they talk about Lance may be sensational but step and think about it for a second.

            Is it really the media’s fault that Lance has been charged with sexual assault?

            Is it the media’s fault that Lance had a fight with a teammate and sent him to the hospital…

            Is it the media’s fault that Lance already has an illegitimate child at 18…

            No, there’s no sensationalism there. These are statements of fact.

            If you just reported the facts about Lance…and asked me what I think about this his character, I’d reply that he has very little character at this point in his life. I’d say that it seems that the fact of the matter here is — he’s made a number of mistakes. He’s young so he has time to make up for it and improve himself as a person not just as a basketball player — which is more important in my mind anyway.

    • LORD2FLI…

      BTW, how am I naive?

      It’s much more naive to assume that all of these mistakes surrounding Lance are not his fault. It’s naive to say that you can’t judge him because you don’t know him.

      When any person is charged with committing a crime…do you sit there and say…Well I don’t know them personally, so I can’t judge them.

      Because, that’s what you’re saying I should do…

      For example, when Michael Vick was charged with operating a dog fighting ring…did you say…”Oh, I don’t know Michael personally, so i don’t think it’s proper to judge him.”

      (I’d be willing to guess that you didn’t say that. You probably like dogs (who doesn’t really?) and you immediately thought — “God, what a horrible thing to do to a dog! What’s Vick’s problem?” )

      Saying you shouldn’t judge someone that you don’t know is completely ludicrous.

      That my friend is the definition of being naive.

      Instead, most people do a little research and form an opinion based on facts hopefully. You judge a person based on the research that you do.

      You should try it.

      Or just do what you’re already doing….explain away all the facts concerning Lance and make excuses for him…

      To each his own I guess.

      (If you’re charged with a crime, and the judge of your trial actually knows you well, he may have to recuse himself, b/c he’s already formed an opinion of you b/c of the personal knowledge he has gained from your relationship.)

      • “It’s much more naive to assume that all of these mistakes surrounding Lance are not his fault. It’s naive to say that you can’t judge him because you don’t know him.”

        Excellent baiting statement, I commend you, theoretically any answer I give you is wrong and you’re hoping for a response so you can give me your predetermined answer. However, I do not know the context in which said mistakes were made, they could all be his fault or none of them may be his fault. As such, I acknowledge you are baiting me but alas, I give you no answer.

        “When any person is charged with committing a crime…do you sit there and say…Well I don’t know them personally, so I can’t judge them.”

        Why, yes, that’s exactly what I do, I am not the jury, henceforth I prefer to approach things in the same manner as our forefathers and presume innocence until proven otherwise. Sure, there’s room for abusing the system, but that does mean the system, nor the concept, is broken. Now, before you respond with the inevitable bad analogy I urge you to familiarize yourself with Godwin’s Law and know that I am quite familiar with it and can respond accordingly.

        “For example, when Michael Vick was charged with operating a dog fighting ring…did you say…”Oh, I don’t know Michael personally, so i don’t think it’s proper to judge him.””

        Speaking of bad analogies, Michael Vick was found guilty and thrown in jail for his crimes, trying to compare him to Lance Stephenson to further your own argument is like comparing apples to oranges. Anyway, moving along.

        “(I’d be willing to guess that you didn’t say that. You probably like dogs (who doesn’t really?) and you immediately thought — “God, what a horrible thing to do to a dog! What’s Vick’s problem?” )”

        You would be presuming, which is apparently your thing. My initial reaction was something akin to: “That’s just horrible, I hope they get to the bottom of this and punish all involved.” Never in my mind did I think did I assume Vick was guilty, I assumed the guilty would be identified in court. As it turned out Vick was guilty and that verdict has rightfully ruined his career. The man got what he deserved, but it was determined by a jury of his peers in court, not you or me.

        “Saying you shouldn’t judge someone that you don’t know is completely ludicrous.”

        Really? Seriously? I can’t believe you’ve underminded you’re argument to the point of making a statements like this. Have you ever heard the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?”

        “Instead, most people do a little research and form an opinion based on facts hopefully. You judge a person based on the research that you do.”

        Interestingly enough, I did do my research on Lance. I’ve watched game footage/highlights, checked out his website, read boxscores, etc. However, I left my research to his on the court stuff because that’s all i care about. I don’t care that he has sex, I don’t care that he’s gotten into fights, these are silly things that have no bearing at the end of the day on his job. Many of the all-time greats have illegitimate children, fight with teammates, primadonna behavior, and on and on, but at the end of the day they are paid to entertain us on the court/gridiron/diamond/rink/etc only. Why anyone would give two shits about what an 18 year old does in his spare time is beyond me, but that nonsense sure seems to interest you.

        “Or just do what you’re already doing….explain away all the facts concerning Lance and make excuses for him…”

        Another baiting statement! Woot! Sir, you are on a roll! This one however I’d like to turn back to you. Please explain the context of said facts (sighting sources would be helpful as the one you’ve already cited didn’t provide much substance, just a lot of surface gloss), please try to leave the one-line statements out of your position though, because it’s the one-liners that have kept this debate open. If you’ve got evidence and facts, please present them so we can put it to rest.

        “(If you’re charged with a crime, and the judge of your trial actually knows you well, he may have to recuse himself, b/c he’s already formed an opinion of you b/c of the personal knowledge he has gained from your relationship.)”

        Not sure what this means or has to do with anything, but I suspect if Lance is found innocent of wrongdoing this will be your rebuttal since you’ve already determined he is the instigator and guilty of everything that happens around him.

        • LORD2FLI

          You’re hilarious, absolutely hilarious.

          Let me start by saying that I must commend you.

          You should be canonized b/c YOU’RE (not YOUR, learn the difference) a saint. That or a Pollyanna…I’m not sure which is worse…

          Go look it up smarty pants.

          “When any person is charged with committing a crime…do you sit there and say…Well I don’t know them personally, so I can’t judge them.”

          Why, yes, that’s exactly what I do, I am not the jury, henceforth I prefer to approach things in the same manner as our forefathers and presume innocence until proven otherwise…”

          So, after all the previous incidents Vick was involved in…and the dogfighting allegations came in…you expect me (or anyone else for that matter) to believe you sat back and said…

          “Giminy Christmas!! What a horrible situation!! Gosh, I hope the authorities will bring the dastardly villains responsible for this to justice. Surely Michael Vick is not behind it. He has been such an upstanding citizen for such a long time.”

          If so…congratulations — you are a Pollyanna and a moron to boot.

          And the Michael Vick comparison is not bad. I could have used any person who was charged with a crime and also had a history of other suspicious incidents surrounding them.

          I could have used OJ, and he was proven innocent in a court of law — but I KNOW he killed his wife and Goldman.

          You see… I passed judgment on a person that I don’t know. It’s crazy I know.

          Again, I have to ask…when OJ was charged in the kidnapping/robbery in Vegas, did you just sit back and assume he was innocent until proven guilty?

          If you did, then it’s too bad OJ’s lawyers couldn’t get you to serve on the jury. Maybe you could have helped OJ get acquitted again.

          ““Saying you shouldn’t judge someone that you don’t know is completely ludicrous.”

          Really? Seriously? I can’t believe you’ve underminded you’re argument to the point of making a statements like this. Have you ever heard the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?””

          My apologies…I should have said: Saying you can’t judge someone that you don’t know is completely ludicrous.

          And I didn’t UNDERMINE (Underminded is a band and a lousy one at that, NOT a word btw…) my argument.

          Here’s where my comment about a judge in a court of law comes in…

          A judge reviews facts, and passes judgment on a complete stranger. If the judge KNOWS that person, he has to recuse himself in most circumstances. That is the way it is in a court of law and the way it should be.

          I didn’t judge a book by its cover…I have seen enough disparaging chapters of Lance’s life to pass judgment in my opinion.

          Here are the facts:

          Lance was suspended from his high school and his team for 5 days and 3 games respectively. Why? Because, he fought with a teammate. The teammate was sent to the hospital for treatment of hand lacerations because Lance threw him through a glass table.

          Lance has an illegitimate daughter.

          Lance argues with refs and teammates on the court. He even argued with the refs at the McDonald’s All American game. Seriously, who does that? You have to be off your rocker to argue with refs at an all-star game that has virtually no consequences…

          Lance has been CHARGED with Sexual assault.

          With all the other incidents, I think Lance is guilty. I assume that he is guilty because I have seen past behavior where he has acted irresponsibly and impetuously.

          You want sources…give me a break. Go look up the school records, hospital records — the teammate he fought is named Devon McMillan, video of the McDonald’s game is surely available somewhere — youtube?, and here’s a quick blurb on the sexual assault arrest:

          http://www.inquisitr.com/24977/lance-stephenson-arrested-oct08-charged-with-sexual-abuse/

          I especially like the quote from that blurb — not sure whose quote it is but let’s assume it came from one of the three defendants. Those sound like some good guys to me. Some really great company Lance is keeping at Lincoln HS…

          And finally…there is this gem.

          “However, I left my research to his on the court stuff because that’s all i care about. I don’t care that he has sex, I don’t care that he’s gotten into fights, these are silly things that have no bearing at the end of the day on his job. Many of the all-time greats have illegitimate children, fight with teammates, primadonna behavior, and on and on, but at the end of the day they are paid to entertain us on the court/gridiron/diamond/rink/etc only. Why anyone would give two shits about what an 18 year old does in his spare time is beyond me, but that nonsense sure seems to interest you.”

          With this statement, you lose your status as a Saint or a Pollyanna.

          You have UNDERMINED your own argument.

          You say that you don’t pass judgment…everyone is innocent until proven guilty, right. Then you say, Vick got what he deserved…So you passed judgment once a jury said he was guilty. You waited until the jury made its judgment and then you made your own.

          BUT THEN, you say “why anyone would care what an 18 year old does in his spare time is beyond me…”

          If I’m not mistaken Vick didn’t hold the dogfights on the football field…Get it?
          Spare time…

          So even if a hall of fame athlete is shown to be morally and ethically bankrupt — you still don’t care? B/c he entertains you??!!!???

          Obviously you’ve contradicted yourself here. You pick and choose the guys you want to support at your own convenience NOT by some moral/ethical standard…that’s faulty logic at its worst.

          The truth of the matter is, you didn’t like Vick before any of the dogfighting stuff happened and you don’t like him now after everything happened and you think he “got what he deserved” …but you like Lance for some reason — b/c he’s entertaining I guess — and you’re defending him to no end and you think I’m a jerk for judging him.

          Get it together man…

          They’re people who play a sport and should be held accountable for what they do on/off the court. The two arenas should not be separated b/c they entertain us in one way and completely disappoint us in another.

          Again, the crimes that Vick committed are pretty heinous. Of course, groping and feeling up a girl against her will…isn’t a nice thing to do either.

          • LORD2FLI…

            SIMPLY PUT…

            You have no ground to stand on now.

            You truly have no reason for arguing with me since you’re really don’t care about anything other than Lance’s athletic prowess.

            What’s the point of you having a beef with me for passing judgment while the jury’s still out on the kid…when all you’re going to do is pass judgment once the jury/judge has already made its decision…but then you’re going to throw out that judgment b/c you, “could give two shits about what [he] does in his spare time” b/c he entertains you on the court.

            In other words, why does it matter when or if I pass judgment on the kid since you don’t care about his innocence or guilt either way.

            He could have 10 paternity suits against him, and you would still like him b/c he’s great at basketball.

            Seriously, I feel confident in saying that the world needs more people like myself and less shiftless yokels like you.

          • I found 16 grammar mistakes in my post. Do you want to look for Waldo while you’re at it? Personally, if you can’t bring yourself to understand the differences between OJ, Vick or Stephenson, then there is no point in continuing. You have reached Godwin’s Law (OJ is Hitler of the sports world), thus this conversation is over.

          • LORD2FLI…

            THE CONVERSATION IS OVER B/C YOU KNOW YOU LOST THE ARGUMENT — YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE HAD ANY ARGUMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE B/C YOU’VE SAID THAT YOU DON’T CARE WHAT ATHLETES DO OFF THE COURT B/C THEY SERVE YOUR MAIN PURPOSE — ENTERTAINMENT.

            The best part is this…

            I guess you don’t know Godwin’s law as well as you thought…what a cop-out buddy!!!

            Godwin’s law simply says that the probability of a comparison involving Hitler/Nazis in an online argument reaches 1 after some time.

            Some folks invoke it to say that an argument is over.

            However, Godwin’s Law passes no judgment on whether the comparison is incorrect or correct.

            Look it up smarty pants.

            INSTEAD, You have committed what they call Quirk’s exception and simultaneously started an ad hominem argument.

            Here’s a quote from the wiki article…

            “It is considered poor form to raise such a comparison arbitrarily with the motive of ending the thread. There is a widely recognized codicil that any such ulterior-motive invocation of Godwin’s law will be unsuccessful (this is sometimes referred to as “Quirk’s Exception”)”

            It’s really beside the point b/c you simply don’t understand the premise you set forth by saying I can’t judge Lance b/c I don’t know him.

            I already agreed that Vick’s acts were heinous. OJ’s are heinous as well. Both are now proven criminals. The graveness of their acts is not the issue.

            The point is…working from your premise, Vick, OJ, and Lance all fall into the same category despite the obvious difference in the seriousness of the charges against them.

            THEY ARE ALL ATHLETES WHO HAVE CHECKERED PASTS WHO WERE THEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME (ANY CRIME).

            The preponderance of guilt is against all of them.

            Now don’t give me that shit about Lance doesn’t have a checkered past or his past doesn’t compare to OJ’s and Vick’s. I have stated the facts ad nauseam and I contend that Lance does have a checkered past and plenty of NCAA coaches have now agreed with me. As for his past indiscretions not being as bad as Vick’s or OJ’s…I agree with that. BUT to that I reply…well then…his charge for sexual assault isn’t as serious or as bad…as kidnapping/robbery or killing multiple dogs.

            The comparison fits. They’re just on different levels.

            To be sure, they fit perfectly for this premise.

            I could have used T.O. but he didn’t fit as well. No crimes committed.

            Its called inductive reasoning. You take past occurences (behavior) that you know to be true and predict/assume what happens next. Plenty of intelligent people do it, you could try it.

            T.O. has been a bad teammate in the past. If this season…a dispute arises in Buffalo between Trent Edwards and TO, who will people blame — even before all the facts are presented?

            If you say that you’ll reserve your judgment — give me a break…

            I don’t buy it.

            You’ll pass judgment on TO and you won’t care either way, b/c he’ll probably help Buffalo’s passing game out tremendously (despite being a team cancer) and that entertains you.

            The argument is over now b/c you picked a fight with me for judging a kid while you don’t really care how I or even you yourself judge him…and then you also lost the fight for committing a Quirk’s Exception.

            That is all…

    • jreeves5319

      Michael Vick’s legal problems and Lance’s are completely different you can not compare the two. First of all Vick was being investagated by the F.B.I. which found evidence of dog fighting and dead dogs on the property. Not to mention Vick’s guilty plea. In Lance’s case there really is no evidence it is a case of he said she said. All I’m saying is wait to make the judgement on him if he is found guilty by the court then you may have an argument but until that time you sound like a blow hard.

      • UAWildcat…

        I have no argument with you that Lance and Vick’s legal problems are different.

        Vick’s mistakes/problems are on a completely different scale.

        However, both Lance and Vick committed acts that served as suspicious precedents.

        With Vick you had a few behavioral problems that left him with fines from the NFL, including the water bottle incident at the Atlanta airport.

        This led most people that I know to consider Vick “guilty until proven innocent” rather than the opposite when allegations came out even though Vick proclaimed his innocence.

        This is exactly what has happened with Coach Calipari and Lance Stephenson.

        Lance was first involved in a fight with his teammate. He hospitalized the kid and ended up being suspended for a few games by his team. Then he starred in the questionable Born Ready documentary, that is until he got arrested for sexual assault.

        Add in the fact that I’ve seen him act like a jerk and pout during games…and you have a preponderance of guilt against Lance.

        The prior incidents are not close to the heinous acts that Vick has committed…but that’s not the point.

        The point LORD2FLI made was to say that because I don’t know Lance personally, I don’t have the right to form an opinion on him and pass JUDGMENT…(there’s no ‘e’ in the word BTW).

        My counterpoint was to say — That’s ridiculous. You gather information and form an opinion and pass judgment. You don’t have to know someone to do that.

        In a court of the law, the judge can’t know the defendant personally — or they has to recuse themself. Their job is to review facts, and provide a judgment.

        If Lance’s sexaul assault charges are dismissed, I’ll eat my words. But I’ve seen plenty of facts regarding Lance’s behavior that lead me to feel that he is guilty.

    • An experienced HOF coach and Keith B. preparing BR for the NBA and for his professional life. It could be what works out best for him.

      The Terps are adding talented size down low. BR hunger to win complements a bunch of guys who play hard no matter the situation… Campus is just a short ride down the ‘Pike…