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Pacers sign Lance Stephenson to multi-year deal, just in time for NBA playoffs

Pacers sign Lance Stephenson to multi-year deal, just in time for NBA playoffs

The Indiana Pacers are bringing back a familiar face just in time for the playoffs and just in time for him to agitate the heck out of their opponents.

That would be Lance Stephenson, who famously blew in LeBron James' ear during a playoff game back in 2014. Stephenson is returning to the team he entered the league with back in 2010-11, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Since, Stephenson has played for five different teams in three years: the Hornets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans and Timberwolves. Minnesota was his last stop where he played just six games. The Pacers are his third team this season alone.

The 26-year-old guard now rejoins a struggling Pacers team that currently sits seventh in the Eastern Conference with six losses in their last 10 games. They have had major problems on the road this season and that does not bode well for the postseason. The signing is worth noting for Wizards fans, given the Pacers could match up with them in the first round of the playoffs.

Amazingly, Stephenson earned a three-year deal from Indiana, according to a report by Adam Zagoria. So, it appears Stephenson is back home and there to stay.

Let's take another look at his epic troll job of LeBron back in 2014:

Still weird.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Wizards celebrate division title in locker room]

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Current, former NBA players to Zion Williamson after knee injury: Sit out until the NBA draft

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Current, former NBA players to Zion Williamson after knee injury: Sit out until the NBA draft

Duke's freshman forward Zion Williamson is the biggest name in college basketball. So big, that if you just say 'Zion' people automatically know who you are talking about.

When the 18-year-old phenom slipped and tore through his Nike sneaker Wednesday night against North Carolina resulting in him suffering what coach Mike Krzyzewski called a "mild right knee sprain," questions about protecting his future arose.

Expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, seeing Williamson go down and unable to return now has current and former NBA players calling for him to sit out the remainder of the season to protect his stock.

Duke felt the loss of Williamson as the Tar Heels went on to win 88-72. How much time Williamson will miss will become clearer Thursday, but is sitting out the season something he should, and will, consider?

Earlier this month, Williamson told Sports Hub Triad‘s Josh Graham that he didn't commit to Duke just to sit on the sideline.

“I just can’t stop playing," Williamson said. "I’d be letting my teammates down. I’d be letting Coach K down. I’d be letting a lot of people down. If I wanted to sit out, I wouldn’t have went to college. I came to Duke to play.”

Heading into Wednesday's rivalry, the freshman was averaging 21.6 points-per-game, 8.8 total rebounds and a 68.3 field goal percentage. Ranked No. 1 in college basketball, a national championship appearance with him at the forefront is likely. 

Williamson does have a $8 million loss of value insurance policy that Duke paid for should he be selected 16th or later in the NBA draft, according to The Action Network's Darren Rovell. Injury or not, it's unlikely he would even drop that far. 

Former NBA star Scottie Pippen suggested Williamson shut it down for this very reason back in January.

"I think he's done enough for basketball, college basketball, that it's more about him personally now," Pippen said on ESPN's The Jump. "I think for him as a young player that I would shut it down. I would stop playing because I feel that he could risk a major injury that could really hurt his career." 

The extent and significance of his injury will become clearer over the next few weeks, but don't expect this debate to be settled any time soon.

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Barack Obama had front row seat to Zion Williamson injury: 'His show broke'

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Barack Obama had front row seat to Zion Williamson injury: 'His show broke'

Former President Barack Obama is just like us.

While attending Wednesday night's North Carolina vs. Duke game, Obama had a front-row seat to Zion Williamson's wild shoe-breaking move. He was just as shocked as the rest of us.

Just 36 seconds into one of the greatest rivalries in college basketball, Williamson was making a move towards the basket when his left foot slipped. Trying to find enough balance to counter his collapsing leg, the 6-foot-7, 285 pound player took to his right leg causing his sneaker to completely tear apart. Zion, who is a big enough superstar that he can be recognized just by his first name, then left the game and did not return with what Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski described as a "mild right knee sprain." 

Zion's rookie season has been headlined by his monster-like ability, but tearing a Nike shoe apart is something not even the 44th President of the United States has seen before.

After the game, Obama tweeted his well wishes to the 18-year-old. 

Duke felt the loss of Zion as the Tar Heels went on to win 88-72. How much time the predicted No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft will miss will become clearer Thursday. Duke heads up to No. 7 Syracuse Saturday.

"When you lose the leading candidate for national player of the year, you have a lot of adjusting to do," Coach K said after the game. 

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