HOUSTON -- Warriors forward David Lee said he feels differently this time around at All-Star weekend. Representing a winning team and being a consistently productive player, Lee said he's feeling like a respected veteran.
And even he still gawks a bit, "no matter how many years I do these kind of things and know all the guys personally," said Lee, who was an All-Star injury replacement in 2010 while he played for the New York Knicks. "Still, when Kobe Bryant walks in the room, everybody takes that kind of half-a-second pause. Even with the other All-Stars. It's the same with LeBron (James) in the East but even more so with Kobe because of the longevity. A guy like Kobe just commands such respect from the All-Stars."
As an All-Star reserve, Lee has a seat at the big boys' table, the first Warrior with such an honor in 16 years. That reality hit home Friday as the festivities kicked off.
First, he took part in the meeting for the Western Conference All-Stars. In addition to getting briefed on security and schedule, and getting a pep talk from Clyde Drexler, Lee spent about 30 minutes chatting with San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan.
Then after the media session, Lee bused off to do some community service. He was paired with Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin and Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Lee helped paint a house and install a mailbox as part of refurbishment project.
After a couple appearances, Lee and his girlfriend went to the Rising Stars Challenge. They sat courtside next to Kevin Durant.
Curry, viewed by some as an All-Star snub, figured to be the first player selected if an injury knocked one of the West All-Stars out. The aforementioned quartet have been hobbled and missing games heading into the All-Star break but all are expected to play in Sunday's game.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.