OAKLAND -- David Lee coined the Warriors' newest catchphrase, and the power of the Internet has taken over from there.
It's #FullSquad -- a term born from a postgame interview session that has taken on a life of its own. It's likely to be on full display when the Warriors return home from their seven-game trip to play the Boston Celtics on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Lee was talking with reporters Dec. 27 after a win over Phoenix, the last home game before Golden State went on the road. He was asked about the Warriors' improved defense when he turned the tables and began asking questions himself.
"Our defense has been pretty good overall lately," Lee said. "I was looking when we have our full squad. WarriorsWorld dude, you have to tell me. What's our record, Jordan, with our full squad? What's our record? Full squad. When we have everybody? Does anybody know what our record is? When we've got Andre and Steph and everybody in the lineup? We're pretty darn good."
Lee was referencing Jordan Ramirez, the lead writer for the popular fan site WarriorsWorld.net. Ramirez said he was caught off guard when Lee dropped his name. He had to watch the video of the exchange again to figure out what happened.
"It looks like he looked down at my credential to see my name," Ramirez said. "It was definitely a big surprise, I wasn't expecting that."
It didn't take long that night for "full squad" to turn into #FullSquad, thanks to social media. The term has been used on Twitter more than 15,000 times since then, with most of those coming after the Jan. 2 win over the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat.
That night, Lee interrupted Stephen Curry's postgame interview to drop in the line, "Hashtag Full Squad." Later in the locker room, Lee used it again.
"Hashtag Full Squad for sure," Lee said in describing the key to beating the Heat. "Everybody participated tonight."
Since then, it has become a regular part of the vocabulary when discussing the Warriors, particularly on Twitter.
"This would not be possible without the whole social media craze," Ramirez said. "The night of, it was intense. I didn't think it was going to get past the night of."
The phrase has become a good rallying cry and accurate description of the team's success. Despite Wednesday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets to end the trip and 10-game winning streak, the Warriors are 19-4 when they have their full complement of starters and key reserves, although one could argue injuries to Jermaine O'Neal and Festus Ezeli still have them missing important components.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson was asked on the trip by an out of town reporter what, other than health, was the key to his team's turning things around after a 13-12 start. Jackson's reply: "Health."
Versatile swingman Andre Iguodala missed 12 games because of a hamstring injury, and the Warriors went 5-7 with him out. The Warriors also lost all three games Stephen Curry missed in November (one to an ankle injury, two to a concussion).
Lee now laughs at the exchange that led to the creation of #FullSquad.
"It was such an innocent situation," he said. "I obviously wasn't trying to call anybody out, I was just trying to get the answer to the question. The other reporters took it and gassed it up pretty good.
"What it's kind of come to mean I think is that we're a team that plays together as a team. We need everybody to win, and we rely on everybody night in and night out. ... The joke has actually become a pretty meaningful statement that makes sense with our team."
WarriorsWorld.net is now selling #FullSquad T-shirts, and there's a decent bet there will be plenty of signs featuring the phrase when the Warriors take the court at Oracle Arena on Friday.
"The fact that people have made it into something to pump us up and get us going is really cool," Lee said.
Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.
Boston (13-23) at Warriors
(24-14), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA