The short-handed Warriors converted Lamb’s two-way deal and signed Lester Quinones to his own two-way contract. Oh, and the team has never contacted Lamb’s prosecutor.
The Golden State Warriors were already short of players before Andre Iguodala broke his wrist and Draymond Green was suspended and Steph Curry clamped his thumb. Now they have finally occupied 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 squad 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 for the season to Lamb, to make the other two-way players eligible for 50 games each.
He reached that point earlier this month, so Lamb couldn’t play until this move. The move also qualifies Lamb for postseason play. Quinones slips into Lamb’s vacated two-way deal, though he has one more game to play.
Although Lamb has helped the team this year, a cloud has hung over him all year, thanks to sexual assault allegations from his time at the University of Vermont. When the team initially signed Lamb, general manager Bob Myers said the team signed up with Lamb and that they, too, had taken the sexual assault allegations “very seriously.”
“We’ve checked with the NBA, we’ve checked with the two teams that previously signed him, and we haven’t heard anything about any official charges or anything like that,” Myers told reporters in October. As for the Warriors, talking to the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs was due diligence enough.
But the team never contacted Lamb’s prosecutor, who charged Lamb with rape in a civil suit filed in December. against the University of Vermont. It’s not a new accusation.
The accuser, a Division 1 swimmer named Kendall Ware, told the Burlington Free Press in 2020 that a Vermont men’s basketball player raped her. She and Lamb were in a six-month relationship, which ended the summer before the alleged attack happened. Ware did not want to pursue criminal charges, but she said the school dissuaded her from launching an investigation and instead sent her to a “non-disciplinary agreement.”
For his part, Lamb denied the allegation: “The allegations against me in 2019 that have recently resurfaced are patently false,” he said in a statement.
Lamb certainly has a right to defend himself, though it’s hard to see what his accuser had to gain by making false allegations that she then clung to for years — with no compensation from Lamb or criminal charges. Maybe he has changed. And he hasn’t done anything to offend the Warriors, like beat up a teammate.
Still, it was an escape attempt when the Warriors argued that calling two NBA teams was enough to check on their new player, not to contact, say, his university, his accuser, or her lawyers. Instead, the Warriors decided that the Houston Rockets’ word was good enough for them.
Anyway, Lamb now has a full NBA contract. And an ugly Warriors season just got a little uglier.