David Lee was the last player working on the floor after practice on Tuesday, working with Rick Carlisle and a couple ball boys even after Dirk Nowitzki had finally left. He'll need extra sessions to catch up with Carlisle's offense and defense, which he admitted was more complex than some he's been a part of, but overall, he and the team are excited for what he can bring.
Here's what Lee said about his fit and what Parsons and Dirk think about the new Maverick.
On his fit
"As far as minutes and stuff, I'll let coach figure that out. But more than anything, they've been emphasizing rebounding the basketball, obviously being able to come off the bench and play with energy, and then we're going to figure the rest out as we go along."
On the in-season switch
"The initial challenges are getting all my stuff move and getting everything figured out on a really quick basis. But just learning the new system on the fly and this is not a simple system to learn so the biggest thing, the first couple of weeks, making sure I get in my extra work learning the plays with coach and the young guys, and more than anything else, just focusing on keeping it simple while I'm out there. The other thing is, I haven't played in a game in over a month, so it's going to be conditioning back, getting that rhythm back. But I'm confident I'll be able to contribute tomorrow night just by playing hard and doing what I know how to do."
On his reason coming to Dallas
"Obviously they're a first-class organization. I played against the Mavericks for years and years now, and it's always, the home crowd and the Mark Cuban effect (makes) it a first-class organization. The guys on the team, you can see the chemistry from playing against them. I've been in the league long enough, I've been lucky enough to win a championship. From this point forward, I'm not looking to play on a team that doesn't have good chemistry. That's something that's very important to me. All those things fit well and I think we're in a great spot to make a run. Hopefully I can be somebody who can help out with that."
On backup center
"Yeah, (Carlisle) said to be ready to play some five and some four as well and wherever he puts me in, it's going to be to play with effort and to be to figure it out as we go along. He gave me several different combinations that I could be out there with and going through the plays, I've been learning the five and the four. I think I have pretty decent basketball IQ and I've been around long enough to figure it out on the fly, but I'm sure going to be thinking a little bit more than playing these first few games. I'm just going to go out there and enjoy it. Number one is to play with effort and hopefully help out team win a ballgame tomorrow night."
On playing with Dirk now
"Much better than playing against him, that's for sure. I've had a lot of battles with him and he's usually done a lot beter than I have. He's obviously a great player and one of the best of all time at the power forward position. I got to see today first-hand what type of leader he is, how he interacts with the guys. He welcomed me very graciously here and that's why this organization has done as well as it has. It starts at the top with management and coaches, but it also starts with the veteran player going out there and putting the work in. It comes no surprise that he's the leader that he is and I found that out just being here for one day."
On finally being a rotation player again
"Last year, dealing with injury, then getting a chance to play in the playoffs and help our team win a championship, then this year, just being a matter of circumstance a little bit, I'm really looking forward to it. Again, it's not fun to sit there and watch. I hope to have courtside seats for a team when I come back and I'm done playing, but that was no fun to sit and watch this year. Of course I was a professional and a guy who tried to help out our young guys in Boston, but this will be great to be back a part of a team where I can have a chance to contribute, because to work as hard as I work and not have a chance to step on the floor and play some minutes was frustrating."
"Oh, I just recall being a little shell shocked I was playing against him. I get a little bit competitive in those situations. But you can ask anybody I've played with in the past, (Dirk's) one of my favorite players to play against and also to watch play, just a seven footer who can shoot like that and the way he carries himself. ... There's never a level of disrespect between me and him, that's for sure."
On transitioning from being a No. 1 scorer in the past
"I still feel like I have every bit the athletic ability and the skills I had earlier in my career. We were about a 25-win team, a 30-win team in New York when I was putting up 22 (points) and 11 (rebounds). It's a different scenario when you're on a team that has more balance like we did in Golden State and like we do here. To me, it's a matter of circumstance on every team and in every situation you're in. I see it as a positive that I've been a No. 1 option on teams and I've a guy who's been given two or three minutes shifts on a team. I've kind of seen everything there is to see, so that's why I'm not worried about whatever coach decides to do with minutes. I've been across the board with there and I've found a way to be effective in all those situations."
On how David Lee fits
"He's a smart, veteran player. He's been around the block, obviously. He knows how to play, he knows how to play with the ball, without the ball, he's a good passer. He's a good finisher around the rim. I think he's going to help us, play both position, everyone knows we're not the best rebounding team and I think that's definitely one of his strengths. I think what he brings should bring our team to another level."
On how his skill set specifically relates to the 5
"As we all know, the league's getting smaller and smaller. I'm sure he'll spend some time at the five. He's pretty quick off the dribble, he's a great roller and finisher, like I said. Most fives are. We've got four guys spotting up and he's great at that, he's great at passing, he's great at finishing off of it so I think he's going to see some time at the four and five."
On Lee being a Florida guy
"I've had a really good relationship with him ever since I've been at Florida. It's a special bond that you have with guys when you go there; you stay in touch and you go back to games during the summer. Just adding a guy like him that I'm close with and I'm comfortable with, he can still play. He hasn't gotten a lot of opportunities the last two years but he's healthy and he works extremely hard. He's a proven player in this league and gives us another look at the four and five, gives us experience and rebounding and toughness. He's definitely a good piece for us to add and we look forward to working him in here."
On whether Lee recruited Parsons at all
"He's like six years older than me, so not really. I don't know. Joakim (Noah) and Al (Horford) were more when I was getting recruited there. But I had known him just from that summer working out and mutual friends, we had hung out in the summer in New York when he played for the Knicks, so I had known him."
On being a strong passer in this offense
"It's huge, and I think he's going to fit in perfectly with his IQ and his smarts and the way he can pass the ball from the high post, knock down the mid-range jump shot, he can run the floor in transition, set good screens. He's just going to do good things for us to succeed."