Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Josh Harrellson probably won’t be a difference-maker for the Knicks.
But the former Kentucky standout says he’s ready to do whatever dirty work is needed to help Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire win games.
“I’m going to protect my stars,” Harrellson told the New York Post Sunday at the Liberty game at the Prudential Center. “Amar’e, Carmelo, if someone’s getting rough with them, I’m going to protect them. I’m going to make my presence felt. They’ll know I’m there.”
The Knicks acquired the 6-foot-10, 270-pound Harrellson in a Draft-night trade with the New Orleans Hornets for about $750,000. Though he led the SEC in rebounding at 7.6 per game, he was an afterthought because much of the focus was on Iman Shumpert, the Georgia Tech guard whom the Knicks got at No. 17. Harrellson and Shumpert sat next to each other at the Liberty game and were pictured enjoying a good laugh.
Still, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni hopes Harrellson can provide some much-needed help down low.
“[He’s] a need that we need,” D’Antoni said last week in Greenburgh, N.Y. “He’s a big body, obviously. He came in and had a very nice workout. He showed that he’ll bang people around. He’s tough, he’s big. He had a nice touch shooting-wise. He can put the ball on the floor a little bit.
“We’ll see if he can adapt to the NBA game, but we think he has a chance, a good chance, and we’re looking forward to seeing him.”
D’Antoni probably hopes he doesn’t have the issues with Harrellson, a big fan of jean shorts whose Twitter handle is @BigJorts55, that his former coaches did.
Former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie once locked Harrellson in a bathroom during halftime of a game.
Current Cats coach John Calipari later became upset with Harrellson for his Twitter comments, and banned players from using the social networking outlet.
“Definitely, the smartest dumbest thing I did in my life,” Harrellson told the Post.
6-9 Brooklyn native Vernon Goodridge had a good camp with the Memphis Grizzlies and is now in Atlanta with the Hawks, per his agent, B.J. Bass…Greedy Peterson, the Brooklyn native and former Providence standout, worked out for Miami and then possibly Orlando, per his agent.
(Photo courtesy NY Post)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.