David Lee (basketball)

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This article is about the NBA player. For the American Basketball Association player, see Dave Lee (basketball). For other people named David Lee, see David Lee (disambiguation).
David Lee
David Lee Warriors.jpg
Lee during his tenure with the Golden State Warriors
No. 42 – Boston Celtics
Position Power forward / Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1983-04-29) April 29, 1983 (age 32)
St. Louis, Missouri
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school Chaminade
(Creve Coeur, Missouri)
College Florida (2001–2005)
NBA draft 2005 / Round: 1 / Pick: 30th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career 2005–present
Career history
20052010 New York Knicks
20102015 Golden State Warriors
2015–present Boston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com

David Lee (born April 29, 1983) is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Florida Gators before he was drafted 30th overall by the New York Knicks in the 2005 NBA draft. In 2010, Lee was signed and traded to the Golden State Warriors. Lee is a two-time All-Star and All-NBA Team member, and won an NBA championship with the Warriors in 2015.

Early life[edit]

Lee was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He went to middle school at John Burroughs School and high school at Chaminade College Preparatory School, both in St. Louis suburbs. Naturally left-handed, Lee became essentially ambidextrous when he broke his left arm and learned to play right-handed.[1] Lee was a McDonald's All American and won the 2001 Slam Dunk competition.[2] Lee was also named a first-team high school All-American by Parade magazine.[3]

College career[edit]

Lee accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Billy Donovan's Florida Gators basketball team from 2001 to 2005. As a freshman in 2002, he was named to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) freshman team by the conference's coaches. During his sophomore season in 2002–03, he averaged 11.5 points and 7 rebounds a game. Lee was named a second-team All-SEC selection in his junior in 2003–04, while averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds per game.

Lee's senior year, he was joined by incoming freshmen and future NBA players Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green and Joakim Noah. The Gators went on to win the 2005 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament – the Gators' first SEC Men's Basketball Tournament championship – by defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 70–53 in the tournament final.

Professional career[edit]

New York Knicks (2005–2010)[edit]


Lee was selected by the Knicks with the team's second first-round pick (30th overall) in the 2005 NBA draft, following Channing Frye. Lee signed with the team on July 1, 2005.[4]

Lee in 2007

Lee was installed as a starting forward for a stretch of 13 games in December 2005 and January 2006. Lee posted 23 points on 10–11 shooting, along with 15 rebounds and three steals in 52 minutes as the Knicks went on to defeat the Phoenix Suns in triple overtime on January 2, 2006. Lee averaged 5.1 points (59.6%) and 4.5 rebounds per game in his rookie season while averaging 16.9 minutes of playing time in 67 games.


With an injury to Channing Frye, Lee started his first game of the season against the Chicago Bulls on November 28, 2006. On December 16, 2006, he was one of 10 players ejected in the Knicks–Nuggets brawl. However, he was not involved in the brawl and was not suspended by the NBA. On December 20, 2006 in a double-overtime game against the Charlotte Bobcats with 0.1 seconds left, Lee scored the winning basket on a tip-in without breaking the league's so-called Trent Tucker Rule, whereby a player cannot catch and shoot a successful field goal with less than three tenths of a second remaining on the clock. At the All-Star break, Lee had averaged 11.1 points on 61.05% shooting (first in the league), an 80.0% free throw percentage, 10.8 rebounds (8th in NBA) and 1.8 assists in 30.9 minutes a game. On February 16, 2007, Lee, playing for the Sophomores, was named the Most Valuable Player in the Rookie Challenge, finishing with 30 points on 14 of 14 shooting from the field and 11 rebounds. On February 23, 2007, in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Lee came down on, future teammate, Andrew Bogut's foot and sprained his ankle. The original diagnosis was for him to only miss a few days, but nearly three weeks after the injury he was still unable to play. He was reexamined and the doctor found that he had a much more severe sprain than was originally diagnosed. Lee played only sporadic minutes for the remaining games of the season.[5]


In the 2007–08 season, Lee continued to develop into a major contributor off the bench for the Knicks.[6]


David Lee set a career high in points, with 37. He also became the first Knicks player with 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game since Patrick Ewing had 34 points and 25 rebounds on Feb. 23, 1997.[7]

On December 9, in a match-up against the Chicago Bulls, Lee became only the 11th Knick ever to score 10 consecutive double-doubles.


On February 11, Lee was chosen to replace Allen Iverson to represent the East team at the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. He became the first Knick to make the All-Star team since Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell appeared in the 2001 NBA All-Star Game.[8] On April 2, Lee recorded the first triple-double of his career, putting up 37 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists against the Golden State Warriors. He became the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976 to record at least 35 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game. At the end of the season, Lee became an unrestricted free agent.[9] He had recorded career highs in points per game, as well as assists per game.

Golden State Warriors (2010–2015)[edit]

Lee became an unrestricted free agent in the 2010 off-season. On July 9, he was signed and traded to the Golden State Warriors in a deal that involved Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf and a future second-round pick traded to the Knicks.[10] Lee's contract under the deal pays him $79.54 million over six years, an average of $13.3 million per year.[11]


In the 2010–11 season, Lee appeared in 73 games (all starts), averaging 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.01 steals in 36.1 minutes per contest.


On February 7, 2012, Lee recorded his second triple-double, scoring 25 points and getting 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Over the course of the 2011–12 season, he averaged over 20 points per game, the second such season in his NBA career.


Lee with Andrew Bogut in 2013

On January 24, 2013, Lee was named to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game as a reserve representing the Western Conference. He was the Warriors' first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997. Lee recorded a career high 22 rebounds against the Spurs, and recorded his third triple double against the Charlotte Bobcats with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Lee finished the season with averages of 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, and led the league in double-doubles with 56. Also, he was named to the All-NBA Third Team. His performance was crucial for the Warriors to reach the playoffs, where they were to face the Denver Nuggets.

Lee injured his hip during the fourth quarter of his first playoff game. An MRI later revealed a "complete tear of his right hip flexor". Lee finished the game with 10 points and 14 rebounds.[12] Despite the injury, which was expected to end his season, Lee returned for the sixth game of the series as the Warriors upset the Nuggets. However, the Warriors were defeated by the San Antonio Spurs in six games in the next round.[13]


On February 2, 2014, Lee ended his double digit scoring streak at 123 games with 8 points in a 91-75 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.[14]

2014–15: Injury-riddled season and first NBA Championship[edit]

Lee suffered a strained left hamstring in the final game of the preseason, which sidelined him for 24 out of the first 25 games of the season. Lee was replaced in the Warriors' starting lineup by Draymond Green, who continued to start even after Lee recovered. The highest-paid player on the Warriors roster at $15 million, Lee became a reserve for the first time since early in his career.[15][16] On January 27, 2015, he scored a season-high 24 points in a 111-113 overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.[17] Lee won his first NBA championship with the Warriors after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals in six games.

Boston Celtics (2015–present)[edit]

On July 27, 2015, Lee was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Gerald Wallace and Chris Babb,[18] as Golden State was seeking to offload his salary given his limited role on the team.[19] He made his debut for the Celtics in the team's season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 28, recording 8 points and 5 rebounds as a starter in a 112–95 win.[20]

Awards and honors[edit]

Television appearances[edit]

In 2007 Lee appeared on the game show Family Feud, in an NBA Players vs Mothers week, to raise money for charity.[21] On April 26, 2009, he appeared on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice.[22] Lee made a cameo in an episode of the now-canceled series Lipstick Jungle, playing himself. In the 2009 movie When in Rome, David Lee made a cameo appearance. He also appeared in a segment of the 2009 version of The Electric Company.

Personal life[edit]

Lee is a Christian.[23][24] In 2009, Lee, along with several other NBA players, joined the Hoops for St. Jude charity program benefiting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.[25]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes season in which Lee's team won an NBA Championship

Regular season[edit]

2005–06 New York 67 14 16.9 .596 .000 .577 4.5 .6 .4 .3 5.1
2006–07 New York 58 12 29.8 .600 .000 .815 10.4 1.8 .8 .4 10.7
2007–08 New York 81 29 29.1 .552 .000 .819 8.9 1.2 .7 .4 10.8
2008–09 New York 81 74 34.9 .549 .000 .755 11.7 2.1 1.0 .3 16.0
2009–10 New York 81 81 37.3 .545 .000 .812 11.7 3.6 1.0 .5 20.2
2010–11 Golden State 73 73 36.1 .507 .333 .787 9.8 3.2 1.0 .4 16.5
2011–12 Golden State 57 57 37.2 .503 .000 .782 9.6 2.8 .9 .4 20.1
2012–13 Golden State 79 79 36.8 .519 .000 .797 11.2 3.5 .8 .3 18.5
2013–14 Golden State 69 67 33.2 .523 .000 .780 9.3 2.1 .7 .4 18.2
2014–15 Golden State 49 4 18.4 .511 .000 .654 5.2 1.7 .6 .5 7.9
Career 695 490 31.5 .533 .036 .775 9.5 2.3 .8 .5 14.7
All-Star 2 0 13.0 .714 .000 .000 2.0 .5 1.0 .0 5.0


2013 Golden State 6 1 10.8 .394 .000 .667 4.7 .8 .5 .2 5.0
2014 Golden State 7 7 31.1 .532 .000 .789 9.1 2.4 .6 .0 13.9
2015 Golden State 13 0 8.2 .400 .000 .533 2.6 .6 .2 .2 3.1
Career 26 8 15.0 .467 .000 .675 4.8 1.2 .4 .1 6.4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AOL: Meet David Lee
  2. ^ Lee wins 2001 McDonald's All-American Slam Dunk contest. Prep
  3. ^ O'Shea, Michael (April 1, 2001). "Meet Parade's All-America boys basketball team". The Portsmouth Daily Times. 
  4. ^ IGN David Lee Interview
  5. ^ Story not found - NJ.com
  6. ^ NBA.com : David Lee Info Page
  7. ^ "Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks - Recap - November 29, 2008 - ESPN". Scores.espn.go.com. 2008-11-29. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  8. ^ Beck, Howard (February 12, 2010). "Lee, Replacing Iverson, Is Knicks’ First All-Star Since 2001". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ "NBA free agents in 2010 and 2011 - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  10. ^ "Warriors Acquire All-Star Forward/Center David Lee From New York Knicks". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 9, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  11. ^ "David Lee". Spotrac. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ Howard-Cooper, Scott (April 21, 2013). "David Lee done for the season". NBA.com. 
  13. ^ "Warriors' David Lee returns". ESPN. May 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ "David Lee 2013-14 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. 
  15. ^ Thompson II, Marcus (April 3, 2015). "Thompson: Golden State Warriors' David Lee has taken one for the team". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Warriors' David Lee adjusts to new role coming off the bench". USA Today. Associated Press. March 17, 2015. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. 
  17. ^ Derrick Rose's OT shot lifts Bulls by Warriors; home streak ends at 19
  18. ^ "Boston Celtics Acquire David Lee". NBA.com. July 27, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  19. ^ Forsberg, Chris. "Breaking down the David Lee deal". ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Sports. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Thomas leads Celtics to 112-95 season-opening win over 76ers". NBA.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  21. ^ Lee stars in special edition of Family Feud
  22. ^ "Celebrity Apprentice: NBA Right Guard Challenge! | Reality TV Magazine". Realitytvmagazine.sheknows.com. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  23. ^ "Jeremy Lin and David Lee -- Who Shared a New York City Apartment -- Shrimp Fishing in Taiwan Following Basketball Camp". 
  24. ^ "dlee042". 
  25. ^ Berger, Ken (March 4, 2010). "St. Jude utilizes power of Love, NBA in fight against cancer". CBSsports.com. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 

External links[edit]