I can’t say that I’m surprised.
Back in March Roy Hibbert made some comments that they had some selfish dudes on this team and no one could quite figure out who he was talking about. Now according to ESPN.com, he was talking about Lance Stepehenson:
Overall, the team noticed a shift in Stephenson from a more team-oriented approach to a more self-oriented focus, where he started obsessing about his statistics. People within the team believed his upcoming free agency was also a motivating factor for Stephenson, who wanted to enhance his value, something he believed suffered when he didn’t get an All-Star nod.
Stephenson’s act had long worn thin by late March. When the players had meetings to address issues with the sudden struggles, Stephenson sometimes wasn’t involved. Occasionally he appeared to be unaware they were even happening. Most players on the team, now that they were losing, shared similar feelings about Stephenson, but did not vocalize their problems publicly.
This isn’t the first time a player has been fueled by an all star or award snub and it won’t be the last. The real issue here is that the Pacers players don’t seem to really like Lance or have his back. No one exactly came to his defense with the trash talk to Wade and mostly LeBron. I’m sure him blowing in LeBron’s ear last night didn’t help matters either.
It will be interesting to see what happens with this group when they go fishing.