Courtney Lee is just hoping to help the Knicks in any way he can.
The veteran guard, who was finally able to practice at full speed Sunday, knows that missing the entire preseason with a strained neck doesn't help his chances of playing in Wednesday's opener against the Hawks. Though, coach David Fizdale called the 33-year-old's practice "very encouraging."
"I mean I missed the whole preseason, so it wouldn't be one of those things that if I didn't play I'd be bitter about it," Lee reportedly said after practice. "It's just being smart and cautious of the injury that I did have. If he does throw me out there I'll be ready."
Lee, in the third year of a $48 million deal, injured himself when he collided with Ron Baker during the first week of training camp. Meanwhile, the Knicks have a group of young players whom they've been trying to develop and they look toward next year's free agency.
"Unselfishly thinking, me understanding that we have a young core and that's the future of the New York Knicks basketball team, so my role coming in is not what's guaranteed to me, what have I earned in the past? It's what can I do to help this team?" he said. "That goes for starting, coming off the bench, playing 10 minutes, not playing at all. ...So it's whatever the team needs me to do, that's my role."
Last season, Lee started in 63 of 64 games, shooting 12 points per game, 45.4 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from beyond the arc. Fizdale said he hasn't decided on his starting five for the opener. However, if Lee were to play, he'd be coming off the bench.