Main Entree Of Warriors David Lee Injury Status, With A Side Of Personality (Photo: Screenshot of a CSN Bay Area Warriors broadcast)
WARRIORS PRACTICE FACILITY, OAKLAND, CA — Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee suffered a hamstring pull on March 22nd against the San Antonio Spurs and has been sidelined for the past two games and is scheduled to miss tomorrow’s matchup against the Denver Nuggets.
There’s no timetable for Lee’s return. After pulling the hamstring, he said that anytime he sprinted from a jog or otherwise made a sharp movement, he would experience tightness to the point of it feeling like he was pulling the hamstring all over again.
An MRI about three days after he first suffered the injury revealed nerve inflammation, which Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on.
A follow-up MRI revealed that the inflammation had nothing to do with any larger issue with his back. Lee called reports that suggested he would be out for the year “premature”. Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group has the comprehensive write-up from today’s interview, entitled “David Lee: Don’t Count Me Out“.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Not every quote from today’s lengthy talk was used in the report and we will mention some of them below.]
Here’s the general timeline of what has occurred:
D.Lee's timeline: -Hurt it doing spin move v Spurs, "didn't seem too bad" -Next day had trouble walking -72 hrs later still pain pushing off
— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) April 9, 2014
Lee said that he expects to return soon because he feels better and better every day that passes, although no timetable can possibly be set due to the injury involving a nerve rather than, say, an ankle sprain which is more diagnosable.
True to David Lee form, it would only be a matter of time before the serious talk about his injury brought about some levity, on more than one occasion, something a television screen showing Lee performing on the court for a Warriors viewer would have difficulty conveying.
In short — and you wouldn’t know this just by watching him play — he’s a funny guy.
As most in #DubNation know, Lee suffered a torn hip flexor that prevented him from playing all but a near-Willis Reed moment in Game 6 of last season’s playoffs ending against the San Antonio Spurs. This after waiting seven years for his first taste of the NBA Playoffs.
That memory was not lost today at practice, when he was asked how frustrated he was with this injury, so close to the start of this season’s playoffs.
“Well, my frustration level is — I’m so frustrated that I’m almost not frustrated anymore, if that makes any sense,” Lee said, “Four or five days of even watching practice is just miserable for me and it’s such a fun time of year.”
“Obviously, I’d be lying if last year how the season ended didn’t factor into that,” Lee added, “I don’t even want to think about that.”
So when a reporter asked the next question with, “I know that you literally just said you don’t want to think about it, but…”, all Lee could do was laugh in anticipation that he would have to think about it.
“Come on now?” Lee chuckled, like someone who’d just been painted into a corner.
Alas, the question was really about comparing this injury to the torn hip flexor, to which he responded that this one was difficult to deal with in terms of the lack of a timeline and uncertainty.
Not too long afterwards, Lee described how he hurt himself.
“I was in the San Antonio game,” Lee detailed, “I was dribbling right, spun left, and as I was spinning, got kind of nudged in the side. So it just kind of threw everything out of whack. So I pulled my hamstring and it just kind of came down awkwardly as I was spinning and taking off one leg.
“Strange part is, I didn’t make all all my shots in the San Antonio game, but somehow made that one.”
When asked by another reporter if Lee had a hamstring pull before, Lee said no.
“You guys have seen me during the injury times,” Lee said, “I think I missed about ten games total in New York, but everything’s been either knee tendinitis or the last two injuries that you know about.”
“Elbow bites?” Simmons interjected, getting to throw in a little nugget (no pun intended) of his own, in reference to the elbow infection Lee suffered when Wilson Chandler, then of the New York Knicks and now with the Denver Nuggets, cut Lee’s elbow with his tooth.
Lee nodded, “Elbow bites. Random things.”
Then, of course, the token critical-piece-written-on-him question emerged, and Lee hit it out of the park.
Reporter: “You’ve been a leader of this team for quite some time, but there’s been some questions as to whether the team is better with you out or not in the starting lineup. Do you have a reaction to those at all or do you pay attention to those at all?”
Lee: “No, I don’t pay attention to what Tim Kawakami writes.”
I’ll let that reporter, Steve Berman aka “Bay Area Sports Guy”, fill you in on that one.
I’ve only been on the Warriors beat starting this season, but getting to know Lee’s personality sure gives you a different 32,000-foot perspective of him. It’s easy to see why he’s, as none other than Kawakami has reported, a favorite of owner Joe Lacob.
Although he’s often the subject of trade rumors and Warriors fans often point their fingers of criticism to his Chris Cohan-era contract, if #DubNation only knew Lee better, they’d agree that if he ever got traded, his effervescent personality would be greatly missed around these parts.