Yahoo Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski wrote this morning that Indiana Pacers team-mates Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner had to be separated during a practice at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Turner had to be dragged out of practice by two of his team-mates after apparently coming to blows with Stephenson, often at the center of heated moments on the court.
The fight occurred before the Pacers Game 1 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and obviously hasn’t affected the team too adversely with the team rallying to win Game 2 in convincing fashion.
That the skirmish involved Stephenson is no surprise. He possesses a uniquely irritating personality – always aggressive and demanding so much more from everyone on his team. Turner surely isn’t the first to snap back at the guard and certainly won’t be the last to do so, unless he got some good punches in.
Stephenson has improved drastically in his last two seasons in Indiana, going from rarely seeing the court to potential All-Star and constant triple-double threat. He also becomes a free agent at the end of this season, and reports such as this will do nothing to help him earn the large paycheck he surely craves.
Turner arrived mid-season to replace the departed Danny Granger. His struggles to fit in are well documented and predictable given how he was used in Philadelphia. On a weak Sixers team, he was the dominant ball-handler and top scoring option. He has moved into a tight-knit Pacers locker-room and had to relearn how to play without the ball in his hands and as the second- and even third-choice option on most possessions.