Get to know Steve Novak
Knicks small forward Steve Novak was traded to Toronto in the deal that brought Andrea Bargnani to New York.
Novak went to high school in Brown Deer, Wisc., and was named the Gatorade Wisconsin High School Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year after his senior season in 2002.
Novak considered attending Marquette, Florida and Illinois after high school. He ultimately chose the Golden Eagles of Marquette.
Novak came off the bench for the Marquette team that went to the Final Four in 2002-03. One of his teammates was Dwyane Wade. Novak struggled in a 94-61 Final Four loss to Kansas, shooting 1-for-7 from the field and 0-for-5 from three in 17 minutes.
Since the Final Four loss, Novak has gone 0-for-5 or worse from three just twice, including three more years in college, the NBA D-League and the NBA. It happened both times in the 2008-09 season with the Clippers — on Jan. 28, he went 0-for-7 from three against the Bulls, and on April 7, he went 0-for-8 from three against the Timberwolves.
After his freshman season, Novak was one of 52 college players invited to the USA Men’s Basketball National Team trials. Other notable invitees included Kelenna Azubuike, Chris Duhon, Channing Frye, Al Jefferson, Gerry McNamara, Emeka Okafor, J.J. Redick and Deron Williams.
Novak scored 41 points against UConn in Marquette’s 2006 Big East opener. The Huskies were undefeated and ranked No. 2 going into the game.
The Rockets selected Novak with the 32nd overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Notable selections that year included Andrea Bargnani (No. 1 overall), LaMarcus Aldridge (No. 2 overall), Brandon Roy (No. 6 overall), Renaldo Balkman (No. 20 overall) and Rajon Rondo (No. 21 overall).
Novak has spent time on two NBA D-League teams, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers during the 2007-08 season, and the Reno Bighorns in 2011. He played a total of 11 games at the two stops, averaging 18.3 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game.
In the final game before the 2008 All-Star break, Novak hit a game-winning 3-pointer that lifted the Rockets to an 89-87 win over the Kings. It was Houston’s eighth straight win; they’d eventually stretch the winning streak to 22 games, second-longest in NBA history.
Two teams have waived Novak: the Mavericks on Jan. 5, 2011, and the Spurs on Dec. 19, 2011. Two days after San Antonio waved Novak, the Knicks signed him.
Early in the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ 120-103 win over the Cavaliers on Feb. 29, 2012, Novak was a trending topic worldwide on Twitter. He finished the game with 17 points, and shot 5-for-8 from three.