Wilson Chandler was a mystery when he was drafted and practically invisible as a rookie. But in his second season, Chandler's quick development has earned him a spot in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge Game. "It means a lot," Chandler said, "from the progress I made from last year . . . I played against a lot of these guys in high school and college. It's going to be fun."
Chandler will be on a Sophomores team that includes Kevin Durant, Al Horford and Rodney Stuckey. He is the second Knick to play in the Rookie Challenge. David Lee took home the MVP as a sophomore in 2007.
The Rookie team includes Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Fernandez, Russell Westbrook and Michael Beasley.
Walsh shrugs off Marbury
Donnie Walsh seemed unfazed by Stephon Marbury's appearances Tuesday on multiple platforms of ESPN. Marbury talked about his buyout situation and maintained that the issue was personal. "I haven't paid much attention to it and it hasn't had an effect on me," Walsh said. "If it did, I would tell him or Hal Biagas."
Walsh said he hasn't spoken with Marbury in a while, but talked last week with Biagas, the NBA players association associate counsel who is representing Marbury in the buyout negotiations.
LIer wins jersey design contest
The uniform that Chandler and the other young stars in the Rookie Challenge game will wear was designed by Tim Ahmed, 18, of Long Island. His creation was selected among 12,000 entries in a contest held by EA Sports. Ahmed, who played basketball at East Meadow High School, is a freshman at Baruch College. He will be in Phoenix for the all-star festivities.
"It was the greatest feeling ever, man," Ahmed said. "I didn't think they would pick mine. I didn't think mine was that good until the day the dude from EA Sports called me."
Nate Robinson's jersey ranks 10th among NBA players in overall sales, according to a list released yesterday by the league. Robinson and David Lee (14th) are two Knicks among the top 15 on the sales list, which is led by Kobe Bryant. The Knicks collectively rank third among the 30 NBA teams in jersey sales, behind only the Lakers and Celtics . . . Robinson will participate in the Slam Dunk contest during All-Star Weekend and has asked rookie Danilo Gallinari to make the trip to assist him in his performance.