If you haven’t seen this New York Times article about David Lee, you should take the time to read it. In all the talk about whether Lee is a good fit on the court for the Warriors, we’ve not touched a lot on how great a fit he is off the court. This article, which leads with an anecdote about Lee attending the funeral of Scott Jaffer, a longtime security guard at Madison Square Garden, illuminates Lee’s considerable character. Here’s an excerpt:
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 death of Dick McGuire, 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 Bill Bradley, who told him that he had many of the qualities that they associated with their teams of four decades past.
I think this is an underrated aspect of Lee’s appeal. In contrast to the all-eyes-on-me persona of so many NBA stars today, Lee is a rare exception: a talented player who conducts himself with humility and class off the court, one who understands and respects the rich history of this sport. Ultimately, Lee’s worth to this team will be determined by his performance on the court, but it’s nice to know that he’s a player Warriors fans can be proud of.
In other news, it looks like the Warriors will need to find someone to fill the backup point guard position, as the team has traded C.J. Watson to the Chicago Bulls for a second-round draft pick and a trade exception worth approximately $1.5 million. I liked Watson and his ability to score, but I never thought he was a great option as the backup point guard. He is more of a small shooting guard and I’d prefer the Warriors had a point guard with a pass-first mentality and ability to run the team who is happy playing about 10 minutes per game backing up Stephen Curry.
Some point guard options for the Warriors include Earl Watson (maybe a little out of Golden State’s price range, though); Jason Williams; Javaris Crittenton; and perhaps Jamaal Tinsley, if they wanted to take a chance on a player with a fair amount of baggage.