He energized teammates and fans with his peerless hustle, defense and team play. He led the league in steals in his second season as he backed up Don Buse and Paul Westphal. According to the team website, Lee was crushed when he was traded to the (then) New Orleans Jazz for Len "Truck" Robinson.
It's hard to believe it's been over 30 years since I saw the "Tasmanian Devil" tormenting opponents at the Madhouse on McDowell. I remember the joy that moved through the crowd as #30 was first inserted into the game. It was like Luis Gonzales meets Alice Cooper. He dove for the loose basketball, he harassed and cooled off hot shooters and lifted team spirit whether he was on the court or cheering in front of the bench.
Kudos to all the guys like Ron Lee, P.J. Tucker and Lou Amundson in sports. They inspire us. They remind us that we don't have to be the quickest, most talented or the highest paid on our block to make a contribution. In times of trouble we need reasons to believe that in the US of A you can take some natural ability, hone your craft, give your best, and make it.
They connect to fans in a way that most superstars never can.
This fan hopes that one day soon we see Ron Lee recognized courtside for his meaningful contribution made to Suns Basketball.