Every Kentucky basketball fan knows the name Lance Stephenson. A ..."/>

Every Kentucky basketball fan knows the name Lance Stephenson. A ..."/>

In Defense of Justice and Conscience


Every Kentucky basketball fan knows the name Lance Stephenson. A 2009 recruit ranked the #SF by Scout.com that, when hearing that coach John Calipari had agreed to take the helm of the greatest program in college basketball, supposedly began contacting Cal asking to be coached by the future legend. Coach said,”No thanks” and went out and got John Wall, who continued on to have a okay career for the Cats. Why would a coach turn down that kind of talent, who played himself into the Big East Rookie of the Year title, averaging 12 pts and 5 reb’s per game (that’s all it takes there?) along the way? Because he had *gasp*…character issues.

We’ve all heard that one before, shackled onto DeMarcus Cousins as one of the reasons he wasn’t a surefire top-5 pick; but these are different. These aren’t the type of issues that followed Cousins, these are cops-are-involved-and-they’re-asking-for-you kind of issues. An arrest in 2008 for allegedly groping a 17-year-old girl led to a guilty plea on lesser charges, occurring only 9 months after being suspended 5 days for fighting in school. And if you’re ever bored, just go to “Born Ready” and prepare to be amazed at the hubris of a top high-school recruit in the modern era. But all that is a bad rap, and justice must be served. Lance Stephenson, like the great orators and debaters of our founding, took the floor and delivered a logical and well-constructed argument: It never happened.

Yup, that’s what he said. Never happened. “All of the stuff that had happened in my past is based on totally false statements. None of it happened.” As much as I wish I could say that for some nights in my life, the fact is that you can’t take it back. Own up to it, embrace it, and learn from it. But then I started thinking, if he can get away with it, why can’t the rest of us? So I have prepared a few statements our supposedly troubled Cats to remember if a difficult question is posed to them during the evaluation phase of their draft.

Scenario #1:
Scout:DeMarcus, during last year there were several incidents in which you either retaliated or reacted to a player’s physical play negatively. Do you think you have a tendency to react violently if you are agitated?
Boogie: I would have to say no, I wouldn’t, but it’s hard for me to say that because I’ve never been faced with the situation. Violence is not in my nature, but humans are capable of very peculiar things when stressed. But it never happened so I wouldn’t know.

Scout: But…we have video of you throwing a forearm after Jared Swopshire threw a knee…and you’ve reacted emotionally when players throw cheap shots.

Boogie: Haha, that old hat. Yes, there were rumors that I “lashed out” against lesser individuals that were antagonizing me, but it simply didn’t happen.

Scout: Wait, what? You’re saying that…well, what about the “call me” sign at Mississippi State? Wouldn’t you say you at least don’t let anything slide and can be a little thin skinned?

Boogie: I can’t say that I recall that. During my trip to Starkville I became interested in a local Hawaii’an culture appreciation club and was simply saying hello several times after a good play. Aloha my friends! But I would not say I have a thin skin, because I’ve never been pushed. It never happened.

Scout: Wha…? You can’t be…you know what? I think we’re done.

Boogie: Done with what?

Scout: The interview.

Boogie: We never had one.

Scout: ….goodbye.

See how well that went? If you listen to me Boogie, we’ll go places. Just write it down on a note card and keep it in your huge banana hands during the interview.

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