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Michael Jordan Regretting Signing Lance Stephenson?

Michael Jordan shouldn’t have many regrets as far as basketball is concerned, but Lance Stephenson is quickly turning into one.

Lance Stephenson

Celebrated as the G.O.A.T. as he is, Michael Jordan wouldn’t seem to have many regrets where the game of hoops is concerned. Signing Lance Stephenson as a prime-time, free-agent, franchise difference maker could quickly be morphing into one of them.

Consider a team that won 43 games last season and qualified as the Eastern Conference’s No. 7 seed is off to a pitifully pathetic 4-14 start this season with the only major difference in their makeup from then to now being the addition of the wickedly mercurial swingman.

The end result is those in the NBA circles now insist the Hornets are making and entertaining trade calls and Stephenson could well be at the center of many of them. Free agents, such as Stephenson, signed over the offseason can’t be traded before Dec. 15, but the countdown clearly appears on where Born Ready is concerned.

Indeed, the 24-years-old, seemingly going on 10, Stephenson has made himself an easy scapegoat when it comes to gauging the question of what has led to the Hornets’ unforeseen early season meltdown.

ESPN Grantland recently waxed “his body language has been horrible, and that degrades morale. He pouts when he doesn’t get the ball on the weak side, flapping his wings and looking skyward as if his teammates have wronged him.”

Such antics, coupled with Stephenson’s 37 percent field-goal shooting and even more putrid 18 percent three-point accuracy, has Charlotte front office execs seemingly changing their positions about him as swiftly and as often as a D.C politician, with Jordan one day raving about how much he “admires” Stephenson’s game to coach Steve Clifford forcefully declaring “he’s not a star” the next.

In recent times, Clifford’s actions have served as a testament to his thought process, with the veteran coach electing to bench Stephenson for the entire fourth quarter of several still-winnable games.

As if he needed to belabor clearly what now seems his point of contention, Clifford later opined “I’ve been around Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady. They were superstars. I was also around Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell. They were two-three-year All-Stars. Stephenson has got a lot of work to get to that level.”

As with most things for the man who once infamously blew in LeBron James’ ear during the heat of a playoff game, much of it all seems mental.

“I’m not hurt,” he said of his ongoing struggles that have led to him playing reduced minutes in recent games. “I’m healthy. There are no more excuses. Hey, it’s Coach’s decision if he doesn’t want to play me in the fourth quarter.”

Michael Jordan can only hope correcting the entire situation could be that easy.

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