In one of the shock moves of the summer, the Los Angeles Lakers chose to team up LeBron James with his arch nemesis Lance Stephenson.
The duo have had countless battles on the court over the years, with Stephenson making a name for himself as a LeBron irritant.
Their most recent encounter came just a few months ago as they squared off in a thrilling seven-game series in the opening round of the playoffs.
James and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Lance and the Indiana Pacers but the pair had several altercations on the court over the course of the seven games.
LBJ was even issued with a rare technical foul at one stage as he shoved Stephenson out of the way.
But unexpectedly, the duo will now be teammates in Los Angeles and it’ll be fascinating to see how they’ll co-exist.
From foes to friends
Stephenson is looking forward to playing alongside the four-time MVP and believes he’ll ask him to get under the skin of his opponents.
“Yeah, he’s probably going to sic me on people,” Stephenson said, according to The Indianapolis Star’s Dana Benbow.
“It’ll be fun. It will be a very interesting year, just playing with him and winning games with him.”
James will be happy to see his new teammate use the antics he’s had to deal with on so many occasions on other players.
In the 2014 playoffs, the 27-year-old infamously blew in the King’s ear during a heated playoff series between the Miami Heat and Pacers.
Despite their clashes on the floor, LeBron’s interest in teaming up with him was a huge reason why he chose to head to L.A.
“Magic (Johnson) called me and he told me LeBron was interested, very interested in me,” Stephenson said.
“I decided to go there and, hopefully, we will win a lot of games and have fun.”
But he can now use his annoying tactics to help LeBron as the Lakers hope to bring success back to the franchise.
The swingman has signed a one-year deal with the purple and gold so he’ll have to make a significant impact to earn another contract and stay beyond the upcoming season.
If the Lakers get the best version of the eight-year veteran, he’s likely to become a fans’ favourite at Staples Center.
Stephenson loves to be a crowd pleaser and admits it gives him extra motivation when he receives adulation.
“When the fans love you and they enjoy whatever you do, it’s a blessing to entertain them and win games for them.”
There’s no doubt he’ll be loved in Tinseltown if he helps to end the team’s five-year playoff drought.
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