Pacers fans lament the loss of Lance Stephenson
For weeks, Pacers fans wondered if Lance Stephenson would re-sign or go somewhere else.
Wednesday, they finally got their answer.
Word of Lance Stephenson's defection was just dribbling out as 14-year-old Javan Coleman was doing the same at MLK Park. Javan started playing when he was nine. Lance arrived when he was 10.
"The Pacers needed Lance Stephenson. One of their best players. One of their best defensive players," Javan told me as he sat on his basketball at center court.
He may be practicing in a Knicks jersey, but Javan dreams of playing in a Pacers jersey. It's just something in the air here.
"I think losing Lance was a big mistake. He's the only Pacer with an attitude on that entire team," he said.
That much was apparent as we listened to 1070 The Fan.
It was "Wild Wednesday" on Georgia Street, a chance to work out all those frustrations that have built up in free agency.
"I thought he provided a lot of entertainment but now we can concentrate on good basketball," Kristen Welker said after the exercise class had ended.
"We were very sad. We love 'Born Ready.' We had partial tickets this season. I don't think Charlotte is ready for him," added Shantel Anderson, who also participated in the class.
"It's a good thing Michael Jordan already lost his hair. I am telling you that right now," Michael Grady told fans listening on 1070 The Fan.
"Who wouldn't want to play for Michael Jordan? I would," barber Patrick Hathecock remarked as he sat in his empty chair.
Hathecock is also a LeBron James fan, but make no mistake, if you get in the barber chair at Cheatham and Moore Barber Shop on Illinois, you will talk about the Pacers.
"I'm not happy. The few games I went to, I thought Lance brought excitement and fans were excited about Lance. He sparks the team and brings the energy," Leodis Moore Jr. was quick to note as he worked cutting a customer's hair.
Then he gets surprised as Hathecock, who is not busy at the time, walks over to Moore's chair and softly blows in his ear. The same way Lance did during the NBA playoffs to Lebron James. The barber shop erupts in laughter.
The antics that Lance employed don't translate well to the barber chair.
His jersey is still full price at the Pacers pro shop, but Lance is pointed in a new direction. He wants to go to Charlotte.
"Money ain't everything," young Javan Coleman says with the benefit of youth.
For him it's all about the love of the game. The goal of the team.
Born Ready was ready to move on. Some others are ready to be born.