The Golden State Warriors were already running short on players before Andre Iguodala fractured his wrist and Draymond Green got suspended and Steph Curry jammed his thumb. Now, they’ve finally filled the 15th spot on their roster by converting two-way player Anthony Lamb to a regular NBA contract.
Lamb signed a two-way contract before the season and became part of Steve Kerr’s rotation thanks to a roster that was full of young, injured, and young and injured players. He played so much that the Warriors had to sign Lester Quinones, who lost his two-way deal to Lamb before the season, just to get the other two-way players’ eligible for 50 games each.
He hit that mark earlier this month, so Lamb hasn’t been able to play until this move. The move also makes Lamb eligible for postseason play. Quinones slides into Lamb’s vacated two-way deal, though he has yet to play a game.
While Lamb has helped the team this year, there’s been a cloud over him all year, thanks to sexual assault accusations from his time at the University of Vermont. When the team signed Lamb initially, general manager Bob Myers said that the team had checked into Lamb, and that they too ksexual assault allegations “very seriously.”
“We checked with the NBA, we checked with the two teams that had prior signed him and didn’t hear anything as far as official charges or anything like that,” Myers told reporters back in October. As far as the Warriors were concerned, talking to the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs was sufficient due diligence.
But the team never reached out to Lamb’s accuser, who accused Lamb of rape in a civil lawsuit filed in December. against the University of Vermont. It’s not a new allegation.
The accuser, a Division 1 swimmer named Kendall Ware, told the Burlington Free Press in 2020 that a men’s basketball player from Vermont had raped her. She and Lamb had a six-month relationship, which ended the summer before the alleged assault occurred. Ware didn’t want to pursue criminal charges, but she said the school dissuaded her from seeking an investigation, steering her to a “non-disciplinary agreement” instead.
For his part, Lamb denied the allegation, “The allegations made against me in 2019 that have recently resurfaced are patently false,” he said in a statement.
Lamb is certainly entitled to defend himself, though it’s hard to see what his accuser had to gain by making false accusations which she then stuck to for many years - while not seeking compensation from Lamb, or criminal charges. Perhaps he’s changed. And he hasn’t done anything to act out on the Warriors, like sucker-punching a teammate.
Still, it was a copout when the Warriors claimed that calling two NBA teams was enough to check on their new player, and not, say, contacting his university, his accuser, or her attorneys. Instead, the Warriors decided that the word of the Houston Rockets was good enough for them.
Anyway, now Lamb has a full NBA contract. And an ugly Warriors season got a little bit uglier.