Pacers demote Stephenson

Lance Stephenson’s ongoing immaturity issues could be pushing him closer to the door with the Indiana Pacers.

Any chance of Stephenson playing in the final two regular-season games
or the playoffs ended Saturday, when coach Frank Vogel said Stephenson
was demoted for violating team rules.

"He’ll be the fourth point guard through the playoffs," Vogel said.
"This is being done for disciplinary reasons. T.J. (Ford) will be our
third point guard."

Stephenson had been expected to play in the final two games but will assume the role formerly held by Ford, who has not played since Jan. 28.

Vogel declined to say what Stephenson did to warrant those actions. He did say, though, that there are no legal issues involved with Stephenson.

Stephenson has had maturity issues going back to when he was a high school star in New York City. It’s those same issues that caused him to fall to the second round of the draft last summer.

Vogel said Ford might play tonight against the New York Knicks and will definitely play in the regular-season finale at Orlando on Wednesday.

"It’s always a good thing when you get an opportunity to play," said Ford, who has been professional throughout the process. "I’ve been with the team the whole time. I’ve been practicing, been doing the best I can to stay in shape and keep a rhythm."

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