David Lee Looks To Prove His Worth Yet Again This Season

Edward BittsContributor IOctober 27, 2009

This decade in New York Knicks basketball has been dreadful at best. Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing is long gone and striving to become a head coach. Their lockout Finals run of 1999 has lost its luster. The team was ripped to shreds thanks to Isiah Thomas and New York's own Stephon Marbury. The Knicks haven't had a winning season in nine years.

The only constant positive in recent years has been fan favorite David Lee. Despite all of the distractions surrounding the Knicks, he has flourished in the Big Apple.

Lee has been the heart and soul of Knicks basketball since he was the 30th player taken in the 2005 draft. The former Florida Gator standout has done nothing but compete at a high level since he arrived to the world's most famous arena.  Last year, he led the NBA in double-doubles, ahead of superstar Dwight Howard. Yet he was only offered a one-year-deal from the team that he has given his all to, regardless of the turmoil surrounding the club.

As cap space has been cleared and LeBron James is in sight, let's not forgot who the face of the Knicks is right now. David Lee is an ideal New York athlete. No matter what is going on around him, Lee plays every game likes its his last. His efforts have impressed coach Mike D'Antoni and he is coveted by many teams in the league. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

David Lee is a key piece to a Knicks team that hopes to return to greatness in the next few seasons. If management forgets that and lets Lee get away, they could find themselves without the player who has made the Knicks worthy of watching for the past few years.