Lance Stephenson officially becomes a free agent at midnight. So as soon as the clock strikes July, any and all Stephenson suitors can come calling.
The Pacers certainly plan to make sure Lance knows how much he is loved, and that will include showing him a custom-made video, according to Indy Star beat writer Candace Buckner.
I presume this will along the lines of that scene in Blue Chips when Neon Boudeaux, Butch Mcrae, and Ricky Roe come to visit Western University. They announced them over the loudspeaker and generally gave them a glimpe of their star-studded days to come if they signed on the dotted line.
Then again, maybe a movie ¨in his honor¨ will take a different course. Maybe the Pacers funded some Oscar-bait film (Gandhi 2?) or some over the top summer blockbuster shoot ém up?
No? It won´t be those things? Darnit.
Here are more details from Buckner, this time on IndyStar.com.
"Sometime shortly after midnight Tuesday, Lance Stephenson will be seated with his family and friends in a movie theater. The lights will go down and the ‘Born Ready’ life story will flash before Stephenson’s eyes on the big screen.It is the Indiana Pacers’ first step in recruiting and wooing their own unrestricted free agent, according to sources familiar with the team’s plans. At the same time, several NBA teams are expected to call Stephenson’s East Coast-based representative when NBA free agency begins at the stroke of midnight.Stephenson’s pursuit of what has been described as a demonstrable commitment will have begun."
They should have at least called it ¨Bourne Ready Ultimatum.¨
Videos and other vanity ploys will likely pale in comparison to things like cold cash offers, the quality of life in a city, a team’s talent level, and front office competence. But then again they really can’t hurt — especially when you’re trying to woo a 23-year-old city kid to spend his 20s in the country and you have a ceiling on how much you can spend.
Ultimately, Larry Bird says he wants Lance back. Paul George says he wants Lance back. And last season, Lance said he wanted Lance back. We´ll see if all the wooing means much if another suitor swoops in with a kingmaking offer.
But regardless of his final decision, the Stephenson sweepstakes begins tonight.
UPDATE: Apparently the flick, which featured words from Larry Bird and Frank Vogel, had the intended effect.