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.
Big Jorts was motivated by his old team.
Knicks rookie Josh Harrellson said he watched Kentucky’s 69-62 victory over Louisville Saturday before making his first start in the NBA.
Starting in place of the injured Amar’e Stoudemire (ankle), the 6-foot-10 Harrellson then went out and put up 14 points and 12 rebounds in 38 minutes as the Knicks beat the Sacramento Kings, 114-92
“I was a little nervous, excited,” Harrellson told reporters. “This time last year was my first big game in college that I ever had and I watched Kentucky-Louisivllle so that kind of motivated me to come out and play hard.
“And that’s what I did. Just come out and played hard, played confident.”
Said Carmelo Anthony: “He stepped up big tonight. We talked about that this morning, about guys stepping up in place of Amar’e, and Josh did that tonight. He stepped up big-time.”
Defensively, Harrellson also helped contain former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins, holding him to nine points and 11 rebounds.
“I stopped one of the best big men in the league, held him to minimal points and not that many rebounds,” Harrellson said. “I think I did a good job on my former teammate.”
Harrellson’s performance even has his teammates joking that he should make the All-Star Game.
“Phenomenal, phenomenal,” Knicks guard Landry Fields said. “Josh Harrellson for All-Star.”
He added: “I think he’s just confident by nature. He has a great game and he’s only going to get better.”
**And don’t forget to read the column on Kentucky’s MichaelKidd-Gilchrist here.
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.