Gary Williams: Hi, Lance. Hey, thanks again for agreeing to meet me here.
Lance Stephenson: Sure. Hey, coach, I just want to say I’m sorry…you know, for putting you through all this. It’s just that…I’m just very confused right now.
Gary: I know you are, Lance. And that’s okay. I’m not mad. You know I would never pressure you. That’s the last thing I would ever do.
Lance: You have no idea what it means to me to hear you say that. Because, you know, one day, you feel so sure of yourself. Everything was, you know, set up. Life was finally — finally! — coming together for me. And then I saw you in the stands the other night, and, well, all the old feelings just came rushing back.
Gary: When you say it was all coming together — you mean Kansas, right? You were going to go to Kansas?
Lance (looks down demurely): Yes. Yes, Gary. I won’t lie to you. I was going to go to Kansas. But then you were there! In the stands! I…everything just unraveled.
Gary: And that’s okay, Lance. It’s okay to have these feelings. Hey, I know a lot of schools are interested in you. Who wouldn’t be? You’re an amazing guy, Lance. You’re a 6’5″ guard with huge ups and a perimeter game to boot. You can get into the lane whenever you want. Does it hurt me to see these other schools wooing you? Sure, it hurts. Of course it hurts. I’m a human being, after all. Never forget that. But even so, despite all that, I want you to know, Lance…that I’m here for you. I’ll always wait. You know what’s been going on with me lately. I just haven’t been right. Don’t you see that you’re my big chance to turn it all around? You could be the one who saves me, Lance. I see myself complete in your eyes.
Lance: Wow, coach. I mean…wow. Hearing you talk like that, well, it makes me want to sign a letter of intent right here, on this table. But then I look at your team, and I see…I see…
Gary: What is it, Lance. You can tell me anything.
Lance: I just can’t stop myself from thinking about Greivis.
Gary: What? Greivis Vasquez?
Lance: Yes, coach. You know what Greivis I’m talkin about. Don’t insult my intelligence. Don’t you do that to me, Gary!
Gary: Okay, no, you’re right. I’m sorry. Yes, he does play the same position as you. And he’s a senior next year. So maybe playing time will be limited for you. At least the first season.
Lance: But what if I’m only there for one season? I have my future to think about, too. Everyone keeps telling me I’m a lottery pick, that I could be a lottery pick right now if the rules allowed it. So I can’t make you any promises beyond one season.
Gary: And I know that, Lance, I really do. I swear on my mother’s grave.
Lance: Don’t swear on your mama’s grave, Gary.
Gary: Okay, sorry, you’re right again. You’re always right, Lance.
Lance: I don’t care for swearing…especially about nobody’s mama.
Gary: Right. So I know you could go after one season. I know it. And that’s okay. Did I ever say you had to commit to me for more than one season?
Gary: Come on. Did I?
Lance: No, Gary. You didn’t.
Gary: Right. And that’s the kind of guy I am. I don’t know what Bill Self told you, or what the St. John’s guy told you, but I do know what I told you. And what I can promise you. And I can promise you this: if you come to Maryland, we will make it work. We’re gonna make beautiful music together, Lance. Just you wait and see.
Lance: I want to believe you, Gary. It’s just…I just need….I just need a little more time.
Gary: Fine, Lance. Take all the time you need. Late signing period is April 15 to May 20. Take all the damn time you need.
Lance: Don’t swear at me!
Gary: Waiter! Double chivas on the rocks, please!