Courtney Lee Hurts

It was no secret that when the Nets acquired Courtney Lee in the Vince Carter trade in June, that Courtney was not the happiest of people. In fact, during his introduction to the press, the SG said he was in “shock” by the trade that took him away from a team that made the Finals and sent him to one that was in clear rebuilding mode, even if his acquisition was a major component of that rebuilding.

About a month or so later, it seems like Courtney still hasn’t embraced the change. Fred Kerber from the New York Post talks to former Orlando teammate Dwight Howard who said of Courtney, “he’s not just upset, he’s hurting.”

New teammate Bobby Simmons told Kerber, “once he gets here, his mindset will change. Once he gets here and meets the guys on the team, he’ll be fine.”

I have to admit. Something about this doesn’t sit right with me. Nearly two months after a trade, you don’t want to hear that the player your team acquired is in “shock” or is “hurting.” You would hope at this point the only things you’d be hearing from Lee’s camp is how he’s ready to work with his new teammates and embrace his new role, which quite frankly is going to be significantly more prominent than it would have been on the Magic.

Don’t get me wrong, from person-to-person, I understand where Courtney is coming from. Because the world of professional sports has been presented to fans as a hardened business, I think we tend to lose sight of the human elements behind the game. If I was working for a really successful company for a year and I was suddenly told to pack my bags and go to a new company, I would feel uneasy about that, even if the new company was offering me a corner office right out of the shoot.

But I do hope this is something Courtney Lee can get over, and sooner instead of later. Yes, he’s not going to have the same level of media scrutiny playing for the Nets as he would the Knicks, but if he gets off to a poor start this season, I can only assume that the storyline is going to shift to how Courtney Lee really doesn’t want to be here and that fact is backed up by his play. For that reason, while I understand it’s hard to keep guys like Dwight Howard from running their mouths, I hope this is the last we hear about Courtney’s reluctance to join the Nets. It’s difficult to get excited about the potential a player brings to your team when that guy doesn’t seem all that excited to be there.

Posted by Mark Ginocchio