Lance Stephenson, who is currently trying to return to the NBA, developed a reputation as a ‘LeBron stopper’ for his tough defense against James during those playoff series. He credits the help and support of his teammates for his success in guarding the four-time NBA MVP.
“It was a great challenge,” the 31-year-old guard-forward said, via Betway. “My teammates said: ‘Pick up on him, don’t let him get nothing easy, we’re gonna have your back.’ And I knew from the jump that they weren’t just gonna have me playing one-on-one with him.
“That’s what helped me a lot because I knew if I pressured him, I knew four other guys were gonna be there for me, be held accountable and have my back all the time.”
Stephenson later became a teammate of James with the Lakers during the 2018-19 season, and although the pair was fierce rivals on the court during those earlier playoff series, he insists nothing was taken personally once they came together in Los Angeles.