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Thread: Traded by Knicks, Lee Was Still a Team Player

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    Default Traded by Knicks, Lee Was Still a Team Player

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    <NYT_HEADLINE version="1.0" type=" ">Traded by Knicks, Lee Was Still a Team Player</NYT_HEADLINE>

    <NYT_BYLINE>By [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    </NYT_BYLINE>Published: July 19, 2010

    <SCRIPT type=text/javascript>var articleToolsShareData = {"url":"http:\/\/www.nytimes.com\/2010\/07\/20\/sports\/basketball\/20lee.html","headline":"Traded by Knicks, Lee Was Still a Team Player","description":"David Lee was the kind of player, a solid citizen, the Knicks said they always wanted, until they didn\u2019t.","keywords":"Basketball,Lee David,New York Knicks,National Basketball Assn,Madison Square Garden","section":"sports","sub_section":"basketba ll","section_display":"Sports","sub_section_displa y":"N.B.A.","byline":"By <a href=""\"http:\/\/topics.nytimes.com\/top\/news\/sports\/columns\/harveyaraton\/?inline=nyt-per\" title=\"More Articles by Harvey Araton\" class=\"meta-per\">HARVEY ARATON<\/a>","pubdate":"July 19, 2010","passkey":null};function getShareURL() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.url);}fun ction getShareHeadline() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.headline) ;}function getShareDescription() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.descripti on);}function getShareKeywords() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.keywords) ;}function getShareSection() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.section); }function getShareSubSection() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.sub_secti on);}function getShareSectionDisplay() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.section_d isplay);}function getShareSubSectionDisplay() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.sub_secti on_display);}function getShareByline() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.byline);} function getSharePubdate() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.pubdate); }function getSharePasskey() { return encodeURIComponent(articleToolsShareData.passkey); }</SCRIPT>When Marni Jaffer was about to deliver her husband’s eulogy to a crowd of 300-plus mourners, she noticed a familiar face rising above the others in the back of the funeral chapel. She had never met the man, but she recognized him from her television screen.



    It was David Lee, formerly of the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].

    “I thought it was wonderful that he came,” Jaffer said. “And it also struck me how he stayed in the back, paying his respects quietly, not wanting to have people say, ‘Oh, it’s David Lee,’ and intrude on my husband’s moment.”

    The funeral for Scott Jaffer, a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] was held July 11. Lee had been in St. Louis, his hometown, after being dealt by the Knicks to the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade transaction that was announced soon after [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]’s all-about-me [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] extravaganza.

    Expected back in New York the next week for a basketball camp, Lee was stunned to hear that Jaffer, 63, had died.

    “The guy took care of our security stuff, drug testing, things like that,” Lee said in a telephone interview. “He couldn’t do enough for us, joked with us every night, and it turned out he had cancer for three years and not one of us knew about it.”

    After five years in New York, Lee had one final act of hustle on behalf of the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] flying into town on Saturday night and getting in his car Sunday morning for a one-hour drive to Airmont, N.Y., from his apartment on Manhattan’s West Side.

    He knew much of the Knicks’ basketball staff would be working at the summer league in Las Vegas and he wanted to make sure that the team — given its extreme state of transition — would be represented.

    The same team, of course, that could not wait to replace him with its latest high-end acquisition, Amar’e Stoudemire.

    When word circulated through the Knicks’ organization that Lee had attended Scott Jaffer’s funeral, few people could have been surprised. In February, after the[Only registered and activated users can see links. ], a beloved Knicks organizational lifer, Lee was the only player to attend the funeral.

    Weeks later, when the franchise celebrated the 40th anniversary of its 1970 championship team with a halftime ceremony, Lee was the lone Knick to come out of the locker room to watch from courtside.

    Despite playing what he called “my worst game of the season” that night against Milwaukee, Lee chose to savor long conversations with Willis Reed and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], who told him that he had many of the qualities that they associated with their teams of four decades past.

    “That was pretty amazing to me,” said Lee, who at that point clung to the hope of remaining in New York. By July, it was more wishful thinking.

    “People talk about how much they want good citizens, guys who are committed to an organization and a city,” said Mark Bartelstein, Lee’s agent.

    “At the end of the day, it is what it is, the hypocrisy of the whole world of sports.”

    The case of Lee, the Knicks’ best and most popular player, should also put into context the allegations of disloyalty against James when he left the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. Organizations do what they think is best for them, too, without having to say they’re sorry.

    The departure of Lee became a footnote to the free-agent fallout generated by the decisions of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to make Miami their collaborative playground. “He averaged 20 points and almost 12 rebounds, and it got swept under the rug,” Bartelstein said.

    Timing is everything, and Lee’s was not good from the day he arrived in New York as the 30th and final first-round draft pick in [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].

    “The biggest regret was not having a chance to be part of a stable, winning team,” he said. “Forty-nine players and three coaches have come and gone. That’s not to blame anyone, but those were the facts.”

    The overwhelming [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] consensus is that Stoudemire is a stronger, more dynamic player than Lee, who improved every year — especially his jump shot — but has made one All-Star team and has never appeared in a playoff game. Even Lee noted that the Knicks, who gave [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] had to make a statement after two years of readying themselves for a bid on James.

    “People might say, why did they pay Amar’e $100 million?” Lee said. “Well, if LeBron had come, then you’d have to say that he would have been worth $500 million.”

    But James did not come, which raises a fair question: if the Knicks do not land [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] or another star within the next two seasons, will Stoudemire — for a lot more money — be as much of a committed company man as Lee?

    Not Lee’s problem anymore. Out West, he will play his natural position, power forward, alongside a defensive-minded center, Andris Biedrins, for the first time. He will run a million pick-and-rolls with the Warriors’ talented young guards Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis.

    With the Warriors changing ownership, from Chris Cohan to the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] minority partner Joe Lacob and Mandalay Entertainment chief executive Peter Guber, Lee is convinced it is a team on the rise.

    “I don’t look at us at rebuilding,” he said. “We have a young nucleus in place.”

    This week, Lee is trying to play his way onto the United States team — against Stoudemire, who is also in the mix — that will compete in the world championships beginning Aug. 28 in Turkey. If he makes it, Lee will be back in the Garden next month for an exhibition game against France.

    Walking the streets of Manhattan last week was a gratifying experience, he said. “I’ve heard this a lot — ‘we’re sorry to see you go,’ ” Lee said.

    Marni Jaffer said that if her husband could have chosen one Knicks player to attend his funeral, he would have picked David Lee.

    “Scott played basketball when he was younger,” she said. “He knew the game and he loved David Lee, talked about him all the time. He was a big fan.”

    He was not alone, but now Lee, a Warrior, has moved on, all in the name of progress.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

  2. #2
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    Though he's no longer a Knick, I'm going to follow David Lee's career until it ends.

    Dude was always a class act and I always liked him. He was the one bright spot of the Isiah era

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    ^

    Here here. What a champion.

    I'm going to take a minutes silence for D Lee.

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    Greatest Knicks since Ewing no doubt. Love that man Lee

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    Definitely a class act all the way. It's a shame we had to lose him but he's gonna succeed regardless.

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    I'm hoping this works out for us. I think it will. No doubt though David Lee is a one of a kind dude. Wish him only the best of luck in beautiful California

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    Beautiful California?

    He's playing in OAKLAND lol

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    My Bad...Well most of Cal is nice



    Originally Posted by SSj4Wingzero
    Beautiful California?

    He's playing in OAKLAND lol

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    I do think STAT is an upgrade from Lee but only athletically... I think Lee was a better rebounder than STAT and not that far off as a scorer. I always put Lee on par with Bosh; I don't believe that Bosh is better than Lee. I looked at them as the same player getting the same results is a slightly different way. What confuses me the most is we couldn't get more for him in a sign and trade!?!?! I mean he is a career double double and an all star... The dude is a player and a big! So, why only 3 guys that ride the injured list every year and seem to be projects? Lee couldn't even land us Biedrins? Really??? I mean, doesn't STAT want to play the 4? So we could have used a 5 right?? So instead we get another 4, a 2/3 that had knee surgery and not even sure if he will ever be 100% again and Turiaf? Really, that is Lee's value on the open market!!! I give Walsh a giant D- minus on this transaction! I know Randolph has potential but aren't we past the project player stage!! I thought that ended with T-Mac.... Lee was our best chip and we came up with, in my opinion, nothing and we should of landed a key position player! If not a 5, at least he should have brought us either a 1 or 2 that we desperatly needed and a proven player at that!

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    This article should give pause to all those around here that were so ready to get rid of David Lee. We lost a hardworking homegrown player that was loyal to the team to the end and just hitting his stride. I guess his Show-Me-State work ethic and contribution went unnoticed and lost in the Big Apple. I know sports is a business, BUT I THOUGHT PART OF THE BUSINESS WAS TO WIN GAMES??? Sometimes big market teams spend alot of money on big name players that aren't necessarily winners just to keep butts in the seats. Happy trails David Lee. Hope they appreciate you more in the West than they did out East.

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    I'm glad this story is getting circulated around Knick boards. Players like this are a throwback to the time when athletes were heroes and were reputable favorites of America. Lee was one of those classic 1950s type athletes that knew how imporant it was to be humble and showed a responsible kind of character we rarely see today.

    After the crap the Yankees got over not showing up to Sheppard's funeral, this is something that really trancends basketball and touches you in the heart.

    Kudos to Lee.

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    Don't know why some people are making this some kind of betrayal by the Knicks. We gave him a higher salary than we had to last year and he got to play for a contract which he got.

    He also dictated where he wanted to go for a sign and trade. Walsh mentioned there were multiple teams interested, but Lee would be the one to ultimately decide where he wanted to go.

    Great class act. Wish he could stay, but we got some nice pieces and didn't lose him for nothing. He'll definitely put up some monster numbers in Oakland and get standing ovations from the Knicks everytime he comes to the garden.

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    Lee had a lot of class, but couldn’t really shine without Duhon. He was arguably one of the best players on the team but IMO he wasn’t an all star. Today's Allstars turn bad teams into winning teams. He’s been here for a while and survived off of rebounds and duhon’s pick and roll. When Duhon wasn’t in the game (looking for Lee) his offensive game dropped off dramatically because he couldn’t really create his own shot. I’m glad the Knicks didn’t keep him for that amount of money because his salary would have definitely hindered the Knicks. For that amount of cash you should be able to create off the dribble, post up, slash and display a healthy consistent jump shot…not just rely on the sneaky pick and roll and rebounds. One of the best moves the Knicks did so far. But, his character will never be questioned, or should be.

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    A class act...did you know when the Knicks honored the 1970 NBA Champion Knicks this year, David Lee was the only Knick to watch the ceremony? Everyone else just went about their halftime business?

    He will be missed, but I think we improved in the sign and trade and in his absence. But I'll always be a fan of his.

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    Originally Posted by Real NY Baller
    Lee had a lot of class, but couldn’t really shine without Duhon. He was arguably one of the best players on the team but IMO he wasn’t an all star. Today's Allstars turn bad teams into winning teams. He’s been here for a while and survived off of rebounds and duhon’s pick and roll. When Duhon wasn’t in the game (looking for Lee) his offensive game dropped off dramatically because he couldn’t really create his own shot. I’m glad the Knicks didn’t keep him for that amount of money because his salary would have definitely hindered the Knicks. For that amount of cash you should be able to create off the dribble, post up, slash and display a healthy consistent jump shot…not just rely on the sneaky pick and roll and rebounds. One of the best moves the Knicks did so far. But, his character will never be questioned, or should be.
    So are you saying Paul Pierce wasn't an all-star caliber player just because his Celtics only won 24 games?

    Even all-stars need help.

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