David Lee has been named by Commissioner David Stern to replace Allen Iverson in the All-Star game in Dallas. This marks the first time since 2001, when Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell were selected, that a Knick has been named an All-Star. Allen Iverson remains at home with his family while his daughter is seriously ill. (Our prayers for AI, the Answer and his family).
David Lee has been the most consistent player on a bad team averaging a double-double this season with 20 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. This is Lee's 4th year in the league since he was drafted 30th by Isiah Thomas in the first round. Just two years ago when Mike D'Antoni was hired, it was widely reported by the press that D'Antoni did not like Lee's game and didn't believe it was suited for his offense. Since then, Lee's hard work on his offensive game has proven that Lee can play at a high level.
This selection puts additional pressure on Knicks management to determine how they are going to obtain a quality, probably max, free agent and retain the services of David Lee, who is currently under an incentive-laden one year contract. Lee was thought to want at least $10 Million per year. This selection most certainly ups his value and may make him too expensive for the Knicks. Perhaps the Knicks may be helped in the rumored trade which may bring in Tracey McGrady and equally as important for Walsh's plan to be effective, get rid of another contract, like Curry's or Jeffries.
Lee's selection also impacts tonight's programming at Knicks Fanatics. We were scheduled to publish a response to Frank Isola's blog post lamenting the dearth of white Americans in the All-star game. That piece will be revised and submitted at a later date, probably tomorrow.
Congratulations David Lee.
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