A Letter To David Lee
Peace, D-Lee. It’s been real.
by Christian Waterman
Dear David Lee,
In the most hetero way possible, parting is such sweet sorrow. At the beginning of this tumultuous offseason, I hoped to see you form the most dynamic of pick-and-roll duos with one LeBron James. In expressing these views to fellow fans, I was told that signing Amar’e or Joe would be more of an attraction to the Chosen 1/3rd. Of course I did not want to believe, after hearing that you’d been working on your 3-point range, that you may be suiting up in colors other than royal and orange. I didn’t want to believe.
When STAT announced “The Knicks are back!” it all but sealed the envelope on your Knicks tenure. Like the thousands of other Knicks fans that have followed your career since 2005, I was devastated. In a time of absolute destitution, you and Kryptonate showed youthful exuberance, displaying grit and heart on a team that tragically lacked it at times. I’ve never seen you dog it, attacking the boards because it was the right thing to do; I’ve never seen you complain to coaches, or have any of the attitude issues that plague some of the league’s finest.
Mr. Lee, thank you. Thank you for that tip-in versus the Bobcats. Thank you for that ridiculous triple-double against the Warriors. Thank you for your ambidexterity. Thank you for developing your jumper. Thank you for posting and toasting, wheeling and dealing, dishing and swishing, spinning and winning (well, not too much winning–Ed.). Thank you for being an All-Star center, as your full potential will only be unlocked as a power forward. Thank you for putting up with the losing, giving us someone to look to as a bright spot in a dark abyss that has been the last decade in Knicks history.
As Mr. James took his plea deal instead of fighting the good fight on the road to becoming a basketball legend, word arose that you would be heading to the Yay. I thought of two things–one, Donnie Walsh is a wizard and two, what if we hadn’t gotten sniped in last year’s draft and Steph Curry was our starting point guard. Obviously we’d be looking at much different picture, like maybe LeBron decides not to start chasing rings at 25 and realizes his potential for greatness as a Knickerbocker. Maybe the core of Steph, Gallo, Bron, and yourself with young talent like Bill Walker and TD is enough to put one in the rafters for 2010-11. But such is life.
The Knicks seem to be on the rise, and it sucks that you won’t be here to participate in the resurrection. But as you “take your talents” out west, to join another rebuilding mission, the fans there should know that you’re already a warrior. It’s been a great run, and now even more people will get to witness the workman’s mentality and skill set that can propel you to become an all-time great. It’s players like you who make this thing worth watching, worth investing time and money into, because we’re getting something in return.
The day after, I didn’t take to the streets to burn my David Lee memorabilia. I wore the #42 with pride on that day, a proper sendoff for a player who did everything he could to win, even when winning seemed illogical. One game juts out in my memory, the tough road win against the Sixers as you played through the pain (R.I.P. E. Desmond Lee) and hit the game-winner. It’s just one of many examples of how you helped restore us to relevance after being a laughing stock for too long. It’s doubtful that I will become a Warriors fan just because of this trade, but I’ll be watching.
Play well, Dave. We’ll all be watching.
A True Knicks Fan
Christian Waterman is a rising sophomore at UMass Amherst, where he is a double major in Sport Management and English. Christian is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, and a die-hard Knicks fan, so life’s rough. Check out more of his work at writethefuture.tumblr.com.