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.
Knicks’ Fields Admits He ‘Shrunk’ After ‘Melo Trade
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Knicks shooting guard Landry Fields concedes he “shrunk” last year after the Carmelo Anthony trade, but says he’s worked on his “mentality” and will do better this year.
“Obviously, I do think that I shrunk a little bit,” he said Monday at the Knicks’ facility.
“With those three guys [Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups], they demand a lot of attention and they’re going to get that attention, so with me it’s just kind of getting where you fit in.”
Fields was a Rookie of the Year candidate early in his first season out of Stanford, but struggled mightly in the second half of the year, especially after the Anthony trade in February.
“I think it was a number of things,” Fields said. “Just trying to get used to the way we were playing and also 82 (games)…add on preseason, all the practices. It could have been a rookie wall. I definitely felt some fatigue toward the end. But I’m not here to make excuses I know this year is going to be a lot better.”
Fields was virtually invisible in the first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics, averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds while trying to guard Ray Allen.
Fields played so poorly down the stretch, he said he was worried the Knicks might decide to upgrade the shooting guard position in the offseason.
“I’ve thought about that a little bit, especially towards the end of last season, right when it ended,” he said.
Yet after a year in the league, Fields says he’s more acclimated to his situation and his mentality has improved, especially in his relationship with Anthony.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “It’s just knowing what they’re going to do now, and the expectations that they have and that I have, but they match.”
The Knicks hope combo guard Iman Shumpert, whom the team drafted No. 17 out of Georgia Tech, doesn’t go through a similar end-of-year experience.
Shumpert worked out with Anthony once in Atlanta and said Anthony and Billups checked in on him frequently during the lockout.
“Chauncey was just checking in on me, just keeping my head up while the lockout was going on,” he said. “Like, ‘Yeah, young fella, it’s going to end.”
Shumpert felt he had a “big target on my back” at Georgia Tech, and looks forward to fitting in with the Knicks Big Three.
“Now, they got the target so I’m just coming in,” he said. “I could relax a little more and just play my game. So I can focus on the things I’m good at.”
Shumpert can play both guard positions as well as defend athletic players like Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose.
“He’s real strong and moves,” said Fields.
“I think my biggest strength is being able to guard a bunch of positions,” Shumpert added, “and being able to play two positions.”
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.