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Stephenson’s high school coach: Lance would be fine as Brooklyn Nets player

February 9, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Rumors have connected Lance Stephenson to his home-town Brooklyn Nets in trades, but the Nets have reportedly balked at deals due to concerns of his behavior. However, Stephenson's former high school coach Tiny Morton said that he'd be fine playing for the Nets as long as they are competitive. AP Photo/ Joe Lippincott
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Dwayne “Tiny” Morton has been spotted on the sidelines of a handful of games this season to watch his former team — the Lincoln Railsplitters, and was spotted again during Friday night’s win against Jefferson.

The first-year assistant coach at Seton Hall said that he’s heard the trade rumors connecting his former player, Lance Stephenson, to the Brooklyn Nets. He seemed excited by the idea and brushed off concerns that Stephenson could get himself into trouble playing back at home.

“He’s been in the NBA for a couple of years now and if he can’t manage playing at home then he doesn’t belong in the NBA,” Morton said. “So I don’t think Lance will have a problem playing at home. I think that he would love to play in Brooklyn.”

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The one catch, Morton said, is that it might be a bad situation if the Nets get Stephenson they aren’t contenders.

“I just hope that if it happens that his team is good enough that it can win,” he said. “He doesn’t want to come home and lose. That’s a bad situation right there…I’m not in the NBA so I don’t know, but if he loses it’s too much, it doesn’t matter who you are, it’s going to be a tough situation for anyone.”

The Nets are currently 21-29 on the season and are battling for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. That’s not the position they thought they would be in at the start of last season when they were fresh off a deal that sent multiple first-round draft picks to Boston for a package that included Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Since then they have been reportedly looking to deal their three highest-paid players, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, in moves that would significantly change the course of the organization. More than once those rumors have included the Coney Island-born Stephenson, but the Nets supposedly were nervous about how he would do playing in Brooklyn, per multiple reports.

Stephenson played for Lincoln under Morton and won four city titles and two state titles during his time in Coney Island. He was named a McDonald’s All-American and Mr. New York Basketball during his senior season in 2009.


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