Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
By Aggrey SamCSNChicago.com
Chicago will have an unexpected advantage in tonights game against visiting Golden State, as Warriors power forward David Lee will sit out the contest after a freak arm injury suffered in the teams road win in New York (Lees former team) Wednesday night.
I wish I could play this one tonight, but I took a tooth to the arm last night. Coach DAntoni had his guys bite me, Lee quipped before the game. The strange thing about it, it wasnt a very hard collision. It just hit Knicks forward Wilson Chandler square and shattered his tooth in about four different pieces. Not a dirty play, he just came in and tried to knock the ball away when I got the rebound, right when I was pulling it down and he made square contact. Wilsons a good friend of mine. I gave him a Sorry about your tooth, sorry about your arm exchange when he got back. I think he had surgery last night to replace his tooth because he was in worse shape than I was.
They found a little portion of it Chandlers tooth in the arm last night and they had to remove that. This morning, I woke up to unbearable pain. I ended up in Chicago with the team doctor for the Bulls and then ended up in the ER this morning, getting an IV of antibiotics, he continued. Hopefully Ill be able to play on Saturday in Milwaukee, but I dont have much movement in the arm for tonight.
After being on the plane and having it swell up a little bit, and then going to sleep and having it stiffen up, by the time I woke up this morning, it was pretty much immobile. Its gotten much better today. Got a little movement, getting my golf swing back. They cant stitch it up because if there was any sort of infection, it would seal off the infection and wed have a much bigger problem on our hands. At this point, its just gauze pads and wrapped up.
Lee was acquired by Golden State in the offseason through a sign-and-trade scenario with New York. Before signing with the Warriors, however, Leean All-Star last season with the Knickswas also courted by the Bulls.
I came here for a visit one of the first days of free agency. I dont want to put words in their mouths, but I think they were one of the teams that was really after me and it came down to me vs. Carlos Boozer. Then, when New Jersey made an offer to Boozer, they made another offer and decided to go with Carlos. I think hes going to be great for them when he gets back healthy, said Lee, who scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the victory over his former team Wednesday, during which his years of service in the Big Apple was acknowledged by the Madison Square Garden crowd. There is a little extra motivation, not from an anger standpoint or anything like that, but just NBA players are very prideful. Id like to think Im one of the better power forwards in the league and a guy right now thats helping his team win games, thats most important. It wouldnt be any deal where Im coming in, trying to have 40 points or anything. It would have been extra special to just help my team get a win.
Lee doesnt hold any ill will toward the Bullsdespite his diplomacy, it might be a different story with the Knicks, especially after DAntoni fanned the flames a bit with semi-disparaging comments about his former players athleticismespecially since the University of Florida product will always have a soft spot for college teammate Joakim Noah.
The first time I saw him Joakim on campus; he was a freshman and I was a senior. Coach Billy Donovan told me we had a buddy system and I had to make sure he got to class on timewhich, first of all, was absolutely impossible, recalled Lee. I said, Meet me at this designated point. Ill walk you to your first class; you have no idea where the building is. He said, Okay. Cool, B. Cool.
I see the guy on campus walking. He has on shortsdown below his waistno shirt on and a boombox playing music while hes walking. Hes like, Yo, Im ready for class, he joked. Im like, Jo, come on, man. Hes like, What? He looked at me like I was absolutely crazy. That was my first getting him to class experience.
Hes a very free-spirited guy, but I think what makes him so specialtheres very few guysits a skill in the NBA, playing hard night in and night out, providing that constant effort. Hes got a great skill set, but what makes him so special is that intensity he brings every single night, added Lee, who indicated one of the reasons he considered the Bulls was the presence of Noah, a true center, which would allow him to play his natural position of power forward. He was a great teammate for a year at Florida and I know everybody here loves him to death, and for good reason. He really leaves all out on the court and thats very important.
Its a big difference high school and college; probably even a bigger difference between college and the NBA. He was a guy that kind of had to grow into his body and find his skill set. It wasnt until his sophomore and junior year where he started handling the ball a lot and what hes so good at is making passes to other guys. He was always very active, a good rebounder," he went on to say. "He got a lot better at finishing around the basket, him and Atlanta Hawks center and fellow Florida product Al Horford, and adding some skills to the athleticism."
"If he had my vote, Jo's got a chance to be an Eastern Conference All-Star this year. I know the season's very young, so we'll see how that pans out...I wish him the best, except when he plays us for two games."
Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.coms Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.