Mike D’Antoni was asked about Iman Shumpert being left off of the roster for the Rising Stars Challenge – formerly the Rookie-Sophomore game. Tyson Chandler wasn’t.
Their reactions were similar, though. They thought Shumpert should have made the team.
D’Antoni said he “was shocked,” and then cracked a joke after he was told the NBA assistant coaches pick the team.
“Could be a reason why they’re assistants,” D’Antoni said.
Chandler was asked about the Knicks playing the Lakers tomorrow. As Chandler was saying he likes the way the Knicks are playing right now, he turned to Shumpert’s omission.
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“And Iman Shumpert should definitely be an All-Star, he should be in the Rookie-Sophomore Game,” Chandler said. “I don’t know how he got left out. I don’t know who was voted in front of him. Congratulations to all those guys but our guy should be in there as well.
“He’s just a great all-around player and I just don’t see how he’s not representing the New York Knicks in the Rookie-Sophomore game.”
Landry Fields is however.
Chandler has the best reaction about Jeremy Lin’s driving dunk against the Wizards last night. Chandler had no idea Lin could get up that high.
“I didn’t know he can dunk,” Chandler said. “When he was going in I was like, ‘No Jeremy. Just lay the ball up.’ And all of a sudden he dunks it. I was probably just as excited as the crowd was. I was thinking after the dunk for about 20 seconds did I know he could dunk? I don’t remember him dunking.”
It was Lin’s first NBA dunk on a night he got his first double-double and first 10-assist game. Lin is experiencing plenty of firsts lately. His next first will come tomorrow when Lin starts his first game against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
As eye-popping and eyebrow raising as Lin’s play has been, it’s also remarkable that the Knicks are doing this without Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
“It’s impressive to get any kind of win without those two guys,” D’Antoni said. “It’s just a credit to - and I told them - how they approach shootaround, how they approach the game, how they approach halftime. There’s a chemistry and a joy of playing that you need to have in this league. They genuinely are having a good time.