Without a Stanford football game to talk about until January (and bowl placement still forthcoming) and both Cardinal basketball teams off for final exams until next weekend, it seems as good a time as any to point out the unexpected success of Landry Fields ’10 as a rookie for the New York Knicks this season.
The NBA named Fields the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month for November following the Stanford alumnus’s break-out debut month of professional play. Fields has played and started in all 19 of the Knicks’ games this year, and has posted 10.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and a 54% shooting percentage from the field. Fields trails only Amar’e Stoudemire for the team rebounding lead, and ranks 5th for New York in points per game.
While Fields’s success probably doesn’t surprise Stanford fans that watched him carry the Card throughout the 2009-10 season–when he led the PAC-10 in both scoring and rebounding–very few national observers expected Fields to make a big impact in the NBA, especially this quickly. He was absent from many draft boards before the Knicks selected him with the 39th pick last June, and he’s dramatically outperformed fellow Knicks rookie and former Syracuse stand-out Andy Rautins, who the Knicks chose just one pick before Fields.
It’s also worth noting that one of the most successful basketball men on Earth had extremely complimentary words for Fields, as the New York Times reported last week:
The Bobcats did not have a draft pick last June, but they brought in Landry Fields for a predraft workout. He wound up going to the Knicks in the second round, and has been a steal. Fields had 14 points and 7 rebounds in the Knicks’ 110-107 victory on [November 23], and added 8 points and 10 rebounds on [November 24].
“I’ve watched this kid for four years,” Larry Brown said. “You know, they forget about seniors, a lot of people. It doesn’t matter what general manager likes him or not. One [Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh] obviously did and he was a genius.”
In other news, this dunk is ridiculous.