Local basketball phenomenon Lance Stephenson—called the "next LeBron James" on his web series—was arrested yesterday for allegedly pushing his girlfriend and mother of their child down the stairs at her Brooklyn apartment. Stephenson, 19, was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and weapons possession, though it's unclear what the weapon was. His 21-year-old girlfriend, Jasmine Williams, is being treated for head and neck injuries at Coney Island hospital.
The second-round draft pick for the Indiana Pacers had originally been a first-round pick, but was dropped due to off-court issues, like a 2008 bust for sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl inside his alma mater, Lincoln High School. And though he became an all-time leading scorer in New York school history, he earned a rep as being difficult. His former coach said of Stephenson and Williams' relationship, "It's a shame because everything seemed to be going so well."
If Stephenson is found guilty on all counts of assault and menacing, he could face 12 years behind bars. However, it's unclear if the arrest will affect his three-year NBA contract, which guarantees him $700,000 in the first year. Pacers president Larry Bird told the Post, "We are currently in the process of gathering information and will have further comments as we learn more facts."
[UPDATE] Stephenson has been released from police custody, but court papers say he not only threw his girlfriend down the stairs, but "slammed" her head on them as well. The papers claim, "While (Williams) was laying at the bottom of said stairs the defendant picked up informant's head and slammed informant's head on the bottom step." Williams is now in a neck brace, and Stephenson is due back in court on October 19th.