The greatest diamonds are made after going through the toughest pressure.
Everybody questioned and criticized Larry Bird almost four years ago when he drafted a troubled 19 year old guard from Cincinnati. Larry legend knows Lance Stephenson could be the key ingredient; Indiana needs to contend for a championship. Larry sees Lance as a gem with a lot of rough edges.
When others have concluded that the Pacers wasted another draft pick, Larry Bird donned Stephenson as the most gifted player to play in the franchise. While everyone 4 years ago smirk on that thought, now everyone agreed Larry’s eye for talent is unquestioned.
Stephonson’s name echoed throughout Rucker Park in the summer of 2006 while playing against bigger and older opponents. The announcer dubbed him as “Born Ready” when he went up against NBA veterans and seasoned college players and was dominating them. He was “born ready” but it took him 2 years before he got to the starting spot. There was no rush. Everyone has to go through the process. Larry Bird wanted him to learn more about the game. He wants Lance to study players, took those offensive moves and make variations in practice. After thousands of hours spending his time in the gym Lance has finally reaped the fruits of his labor.
With days left before the Eastern Conference finals, Larry Bird knew this is Lance time to step up.
With Paul George and Roy Hibbert mightily struggling, Indiana needs another scorer who could carry the team against the two-time defending champions the Miami Heat. All season long Indiana worked hard to be on the number one spot, hoping to get hometown advantage throughout the playoffs. They wanted redemption against the Heat team that ousted them after seven games in the same Eastern conference finals. Now this is the chance for them to get back, and for Lance, a chance for him to validate Larry Bird’s claim.
Up in the rafters, as the limelight shines brighter, Lance Stephenson is now up again on the biggest stage of his career. His talent, passion and dedication were never a question. Indiana needs him more than ever.
A chance to be part of history, a chance to topple one of NBA’s biggest names (Lebron, Wade and Bosh), this is the time to shine…
Larry Bird’s vision is unfathomable. But you can never be wrong when you have a player who is “born ready”
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