I will preface this post by saying that I really like David Lee. A lot. He’s a really nice player. He has gumption and heart. We all watched him get better over the last five years season by season and he made greater strides in each subsequent year. This past year he turned himself into an all-star by perfecting – seemingly overnight a quarter of the way into the season – his midrange jumper.
But now that the Knicks are closing in on Amar’e Stoudemire it looks like they are likely to also close the door on David Lee. A lot of Knicks fans lament that the Knicks “didn’t take care of their own”. But believe me, Lee isn’t looking at it that way. He’s looking to score a max contract and he’s making the rounds to the Bulls, the Heat, the Nets, the Wolves, etc. David Lee isn’t going to look back. He’s going to take care of himself. And Knicks fans should look at it the same way. The Knicks are trying to take care of themselves.
Amar’e Stoudemire has the ability to make the Knicks viable again. People will take them seriously now for the first time since Scott Layden passed on him in the 2002 NBA draft. Amar’e can attract other stars because he’s a five time all-star with enough cache around the league to get another star to listen to him recruit for the Knicks. Why? Because he’s been part of 50 win teams, 60 win teams. He doesn’t get all the credit, but those are just the facts. I’m not saying it’s fair. I’m just saying that’s how it is.
For approximately $3 million more per year you’re getting a lot more value for your money out of Amar’e. For example, word has it that Amar’e is recruiting LeBron to join him in New York. Would LeBron even take David Lee’s calls?
Lee is nice but he’s a glorified hustle player and other players around the league understand this. He makes the all-star team because someone else is hurt. He gets dominated by the other all-stars. This isn’t to bash the guy. He’s grown into a terrific basketball player before our eyes. Enough so that he’s got visions of swimming in a pool of cash that some other team is going to fork over. He’s going to put the money in the bag and never look back. Don’t cry for him folks. He’s gonna be fine.