Tuesday, August 4, 2009

David Lee, Meet Michael Cage

Michael Cage was a rebounding specialist who played for 15 years in the NBA. During his third season with the LA Clippers, he got the opportunity to start and made the most of it, averaging 15.7 points and an eye-popping 11.5 rebounds per game. His fourth season was also impressive as he put up 14.5/13. The Clippers combined record for those two seasons was 29-135. Yes, you're reading that correctly. 29-135.

The Seattle Sonics (remember them?) were intrigued enough by his rebounding prowess to trade for him. Cage played six progressively less productive seasons with Seattle before bouncing around with Cleveland, Philly and Jersey. He never came close to matching his numbers with that dreadful Clipper shipwreck.

David Lee just finished his fourth season with the hapless New York Knicks, who were so desperate for rebounding that they were starting the 6'9 PF at center. In his first three seasons combined, Lee started 55 games. This past year, he started 74. His numbers? 16 and 11.7. On a team that won 32 games and finished in last place.

Lee's agent is trying to get him 12 mil a year. But these ain't Isiah's Knicks anymore. Walsh knows better. The team's offering a one-year deal, which is the equivalent of saying, "Bail us out for another year until we can get somebody better."

Many Knick fans are rushing to Lee's defense, pointing out his league-leading number of double-doubles last season, while ignoring the fact that he got absolutely torched on defense. These rabid fans even go so far as to suggest that he's an All-Star.

Lee's no All-Star. He's a role player- a rebounder- just like Dale Davis, Rick Mahorn, Tyrone Hill, PJ Brown and Michael Cage before him. Except without the defense. And in Cage's case, the awesome Jheri Curl.

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