I know, this is a Sacramento Kings blog, what is that crazy Purple Panjandrum doing over in the visitors locker room chatting it up with the Warriors David Lee? The answer is pretty simple. If you talk to enough Kings fans, David Lee was the free agent target that piqued the interest of almost everyone. David Lee was that all-star level player, who just might have bit had the Kings offered the moon. Here is my chat with the affable David Lee of the Golden State Warriors.
TPP: How do you think you are fitting in to this team so far?
Lee: I am really enjoying this team so far. We had a tough one tonight but overall, the team get’s along real well. It’s a great organization and I love the city so far. I think we have a chance for a promising season and I’m just excited to part of it.
TPP: How tough is it to go against a guy like DeMarcus Cousins even though he’s only playing in his fourth NBA game?
Lee: I didn’t guard him a whole lot tonight but when I did in the fourth quarter…..you can write this- I’m not buying in to the three pointers yet. You know, he’s got a good feel for the game and he plays hard and that’s the most important thing and I think as the season goes on and he gets in better shape, he is going to be a load down there. He’s got a great guard to play alongside and I those two are going to be good here for the future.
TPP: Purely a Sacramento based question- you just went through free agency. Is Sacramento a place that free agents such as yourself are looking at or is it considered more of an outpost?
Lee: I don’t think that any team is an outpost anymore, especially with the way that information is relayed now with the internet and everything, I don’t think there are too many outposts left. Teams are built in different ways and I think they are building it here by getting some good draft picks with Tyreke and DeMarcus and building around that. Oklahoma City did the same thing and look how they’re coming up. You can choose to do it through free agency or through the draft and I think they’ve got some good young guys to build with here.
TPP: Going back to last years trade deadline, there were rumors or talk of you possibly being involved in the Tracy McGrady/Kevin Martin deal. Would you have accepted a trade here to Sacramento?
Lee: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have no problem with Sacramento. They have a great home crowd here and the team has some good young players. I have no issues with Sacramento, whatsoever.
TPP: You just entered free agency, two years in a row. It seemed like you were really loyal to the Knicks. How did this whole process play out for you personally?
Lee: Unfortunately, loyalty has its breaking point in this business and they decided to go in a different direction and go after #23 and make their push for him and that is how it ended. You know, we have a chance to play those guys twice this year and that’s the extent of it. I love the city of New York, I love the fans and stuff like that but at the end of the day, they decided to go a different direction.
TPP: Do you feel like you are in a better spot now?
Lee: I’m real excited about this team, so yeah, I think I’m in a better spot right now. A little bit less drama, a little bit more substance and I’m just excited, we have a real strong young nucleus here.
Lee: It makes my job a lot easier. Playing with those guys, I don’t have to worry about scoring 25-30 points a night. I can let the game come to me a little bit more knowing that we have those two unbelievable scoring guards. It’s a lot easier offensively when you have a balanced attack.
TPP: You’ve played in two of the highest scoring offensive systems in recent basketball history between D’Antoni’s system and the Don Nelson system being ran by Keith Smart here in Golden State. How do you compare the two and is that something you looked for during free agency?
Lee: Style of play is important but I’ve played in every kind of style. I played slow down ball with Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas. The biggest thing for me is to getting in a place I fit in well and I think this is the perfect example of a place where you get up and down the floor. Where the bigs post up but at the same time they are runners and it’s important for me to be part of that.
Lee is bright, articulate and maybe most of all, media savvy. After spending his first 5 years in the NBA as a member of the Knicks, he knows to stop and think before running his mouth in front of a digital recorder. Saying this, I thought he was honest and forthcoming throughout the interview. More so than the Sacramento questions, his answers regarding the New York Knicks seemed to strike a deeper nerve within him. With the trade for Dalembert and the drafting of Cousins and Whiteside, the Kings chose a cheaper route to get the players they wanted. It will be fun to see this Warriors team four times a year and think, what if?