NBA stars could be caught with their pants down on Twitter

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As Indiana Pacers rookie Lance Stephenson evolved from a New York City high school legend to a burgeoning NCAA star and ultimately a second-round pick in the NBA draft last season, it became clear that while he was a good player, questions remained if he would ever live up to the tattoo on one of his biceps that drew so much attention — ‘Born Ready’.

The nickname was given to him when it became clear that as a 6-foot, 4-inch 15 year old on the AAU circuit, Brooklyn native Stephenson had advanced playmaking skills, the type one doesn’t usually find in a player so young yet so tall. The basketball magazines — trademarked by pictures of scowling, angry “ballers” and advertisements for garish jewelry and cars that cost six figures — ran with “Born Ready” as they heralded the coming of the next great baller.

But if the latest allegations surrounding Stephenson are true, he is anything but ready for the temptations of NBA wealth and fame.

A trashy escort in the New York area who has dubbed herself “Candy Deepthroat” has a hot following on Twitter, so much so that she has been called, politely, a “twitter escort” instead of what she really is. Candy has posted video to YouTube and text messages (one that includes what is believed to be Stephenson’s cell number) and alleges that Stephenson, during a Pacer visit to New York earlier this month, shorted her half of the $2,000 she was due as a result of setting up a threesome for him. She further posted that he has reneged on the tickets to “any game” she wanted at Madison Square Garden.

Can’t knock Candy for wanting to collect her money. And apparently she’s not new to the game. She has posted pictures of herself and other NBA players, such as Ronny Turiaf of the Knicks, and has even boasted on Twitter that she is the reason Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes called off his wedding last year.

If Deepthroat’s latest campaign for notoriety is true, don’t blame the mythic “Man”, the NBA or anyone else other than Stephenson for putting himself in this untenable position. At the very least, give the girl her money. Hush money, as it is known in the league.

But seriously, every year before the start of the season, the NBA sequesters its draft crop somewhere for a couple of days in a joint effort with the National Basketball Players Association in an effort to help them make an educated transition in the league. The program, called the Rookie Transition Program, is mandatory. They don’t talk basketball, there’s plenty of time for that in the grind that is the NBA season. This is about the trappings of fame and fortune that young men who are now instantly rich — some of them millionaires — will most assuredly encounter in their careers. Shady financial advisors, scams and, yes, groupies and whores are just some of the topics that are touched upon.

But let’s be honest here. There are going to be moments like those alleged by Deepthroat involving players where that sage voice is not going to be anywhere in the room, and athletic history is ripe with examples of players who carelessly succumbed to their testosterone-driven nature.

Former Denver running back Travis Henry has nine children by nine different women. When this report came out, Henry, then 28, was trying his best to stay out of jail because he could not make the child support payments. This despite having a $22.5 million contract that at the time guaranteed him $12 million.

The sad story of former NBA all-star Shawn Kemp, father to seven children born out of wedlock, is also a cautionary tale that is no doubt related to young NBA players.

Young millionaire athletes are targets. They always have been and they always will be. However, with the explosion of social media you can expect to see more and more of them being humiliated by the Deepthroats of the world. TMZ, which specializes in rummaging through celebrity garbage, now has a sports beat. And while right now it’s making money by posting mug shots of athlete DUIs and other less-salacious missteps, rest assured that that the backers of this venture know there is much more interest (and money to be made) in baby-mama drama and the ultimate ruination of a career.

If “Born Ready” doesn’t get it now, don’t be surprised if his becomes the lead in one of those future headlines.