Lance Stephenson

Empty Garden

On the basketball courts of New York City, there may be no truer measure of a player's stature than his nickname. If a player is considered good, then his moniker will be something straightforward: "Pee Wee" if he is short; "Lefty" if he shoots with that hand. But if a player is viewed as great, then his talent can actually inspire poetry. He will be called "Half-Man Half-Amazing" for his superhuman dunks or "Skip to My Lou" for the way he hopscotches down the court as he dribbles past hapless opponents.

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If you're interested in Lance Stephenson, the New York City basketball phenom I wrote about in the current print issue, it's probably worth my mentioning that he didn't announce his college decision this week, as I'd reported in my article that he would. This development caused has no end of teeth-gnashing and garment-rending among the people who follow college recruiting and who were counting on Lance to give them their fix--which prompted Lance to somewhat poignantly protest: “It wasn’t a change,” he said. “It’s just been hard for me and my family to make a decision.

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