Warriors

In his own way, David Lee was a launching pad for the new age Warriors

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AP

In his own way, David Lee was a launching pad for the new age Warriors

So we say Goodbye, once and for all, to David Lee, who was nothing less than the visible lightning rod for all that was good and bad about the Warriors during their advancement from a hut on the outskirts of the NBA to the league’s penthouse suite.

Lee was, in his own way, every bit as much of a launching pad for the New Age Warriors as was Stephen Curry.

Lee, who disclosed his retirement Sunday in a very 2017 America way -- with an Instagram post -- came to the Warriors from the New York Knicks in a July 2010 sign-and-trade deal. He was the one-man brass band providing accompaniment to the announcement of the team being purchased by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.

An expensive band, too, as the Warriors handed Lee a six-year contract worth $80 million.

Fairly popular in New York, having been the team’s only All-Star in the nine-season span from 2001-02 to 2010-11, Lee became a fast favorite among many Warriors fans because he produced impressive individual numbers for a struggling team with a richly earned inferiority complex.

In 2012-13, Lee’s third season as a Warrior, he became the team’s first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell 16 years earlier. Lee led the NBA in double-doubles, his favorite statistical category. That season, not coincidently, also marked the team’s return to the playoffs after a five-year absence.

Lee by then was partnering with Curry as the leaders of a team -- no, a franchise -- determined to became a player in the NBA. With Guber’s theatrical flair and Lacob’s naked ambition, the Warriors were not going to be stopped.

It became apparent the following season, even as the team was making its second consecutive playoff appearance, that Lee had a ceiling. He could score and rebound well enough to rack up double-doubles, but he was giving away points on the other end. Lee was an awful defender, constantly picked on by opponents.

The Warriors could win a lot of games with Lee as their starting power forward, but they weren’t going to win any championships.

That door didn’t crack open for the Warriors until late in the 2014 season, and it opened wide during the playoffs against the Clippers. Three games into the series, with LA’s Blake Griffin having his way with Lee, Warriors coach Mark Jackson realized he had an answer to his Griffin problem.

Jackson turned to Draymond Green, who played well over the final weeks of the season as Lee recovered from an injury. Green immediately got under Griffin’s skin and stayed there for the rest of the series. More than three years later, Green still terrifies Griffin, which is why the Warriors own the Clippers.

The Clippers won the series in seven games, but the Warriors were enlightened.

Jackson was fired after that series, and Steve Kerr was hired as the new coach. Kerr says he came in believing Lee would be his starting power forward. Lee had the misfortune of straining a hamstring in the final preseason game, pressing Green into the starting lineup. He has been there ever since.

As their 2014-15 season marched on, the Warriors coaching staff began carefully rationing Lee’s reserve minutes to obscure his defensive limitations. In two years, he had gone from a numbers beast and Curry’s chief sidekick to being marginalized on a team bound for a championship.

A member of the 2015 championship team, Lee also was the most glaring casualty of the Warriors amazing ride to the top of the NBA.

His arrival had given them a modicum of credibility, something utterly lacking at the time. That helped the franchise. His departure, traded to the Celtics in July 2015 -- five years to the day after he came to the Bay -- gave the Warriors some immediate cap relief. That also helped the franchise.

After two years bouncing around the league, from the Celtics to the Mavericks to the Spurs last season, Lee is hanging up his sneakers. He’s diving into life with his new fiancée, the tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Life was good and it should stay good.

Lee has much about which to be proud. He did his job well enough for the Warriors, but not as well as they needed it to be done to reach the very top. No shame in that, none at all.

Nick Young opens up about why he signed with Warriors last summer

Nick Young opens up about why he signed with Warriors last summer

Some wondered what the Warriors were doing when they signed Nick Young last summer.

Would the quirky Young really fit in with the defending champs? Would he be too much of a goofball for a locker room full of All-Stars?

Much to the surprise of most, Young didn't ruin the Warriors' chemistry. He didn't fill the statsheet on a consistent basis, but he made big shots off the bench when the Warriors needed them.

Basking in the glory of being an NBA champion, Young took a break from his non-stop party to talk to Complex Magazine last week.

How did Young end up with the Warriors last summer? According to Young, Lakers head coach Luke Walton called up the Warriors and vouched for the free agent sharpshooter.

On July 8, 2017, Young signed a one-year deal with the Warriors for the mid-level exception. He made just under $5.2 million, a slight paycut from the previous season.

“I just needed to win. I had been on a lot of losing teams. Always rebuilding. I feel I needed to experience [winning] and be around guys who are just really good teammates like Draymond, even though he’s crazy,” Young told Complex.

As for the 2018-19 season, Young is still a free agent. The Warriors don't have a roster spot to bring him back. According to Young, he was hoping the Rockets might have had a spot for him, but it doesn't appear that is happening.

Why did he want to go to the Rockets?

"[Mike D'Antoni] is one of the best coaches I played with," Young told Complex.

With the season rapidly approaching, does Young see a fit for him in the league?

“I just have to find that exact spot. That’s more key than anything for me than just rushing out there. It’s my 11th year. But I’m not used to it. I’m used to signing early. My agent’s telling me to relax and to be more patient," Young said.

Quinn Cook surprises mom with brand new car

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USATSI

Quinn Cook surprises mom with brand new car

Quinn Cook went undrafted in 2015 after spending four seasons at Duke. He finally signed his first guaranteed NBA contract with the Warriors on April 8, 2018. 

That contract changed his life. And now, Cook is giving back the best way he can, starting with his mother. 

Cook was back at his hometown in Maryland over the weekend and had a special present for his mother, surprising her with a brand new Range Rover. 

"You deserve it," Cook repeatedly told his mother. 

Cook is signed to a two-year deal with the Warriors worth $1,599,783. In 33 games with the Warriors, 18 starts, Cook averaged 9.5 points and 2.7 assists per game.