Warriors

Lee an integral part of Warriors' soul and fabric, Kerr says

Warriors

Damion Lee worked extremely hard to get to the place he is at within the Warriors organization.

And when Steve Kerr was asked about Lee during his media session Wednesday, Golden State's coach was extremely complimentary.

"The biggest thing with Damion is that he's become a really big part of our soul -- of our fabric," Kerr said. "He's such a great human being and a great teammate.

"The way he approaches each day, the maturity level, the leadership. He's an integral part of things."

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What about his role during the 2020-21 season?

"Everybody's role changes year to year based on how the season's going, who's healthy, what's going on roster wise," Kerr said. "Who knows who we draft, who we sign in free agency, who we we trade for. I have no idea what training camp is gonna look like (or) what our roster is gonna look like. So there are no guarantees.

"But I know that Damion is a big part of our identity and our culture. I am really thankful to have him here. He's an amazing person and really a good solid pro."

Lee signed a two-way contract with the Warriors in July 2018, and made an impression over 32 games with Golden State. But surprisingly he didn't receive any guaranteed NBA offers last summer, and returned to the Dubs on another two-way deal.

 

The grind paid off in mid-January when the Warriors converted his contract to a standard NBA deal for the remainder of the season, plus $600,000 guaranteed next year.

What does it mean to the 27-year-old to hear Kerr say he has become a part of the team's soul?

"It's just embodying whatever it is the staff would want from me. I'm very selfless and very caring about everybody else that's on the team," Lee told reporters. "That's why I'm always joking and trying to get people to laugh and smile because I know that at least brings camaraderie.

"Try to have a great relationship with everyone that's in the organization. Always look people in their eyes, treat everyone the exact same and just try to have fun.

"I feel like I've been through my hard times and my hardships throughout my basketball career ... I feel like my best basketball is still ahead of me."

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Lee -- who tore his right ACL in 2013 and his left ACL in 2016 -- averaged 15.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals over Golden State's final 16 games last season.

"My main goal is to come in and just try to contribute as best as I can," he said. "Play hard and knock down open shots. Whatever it is the coaches need from me."

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