Landry Fields learned on Monday that he didn't win a third straight Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award, but he got better news shortly afterward when the NBA announced the rosters for the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam event at All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.
Fields, who grew up in Long Beach, Calif., will get one more opportunity to play at Staples Center on Feb. 19 before friends and family as a member of the Rookies team. Fields has already played the Clippers and Lakers there this season.
It is the fifth time in the last six years that the Knicks are represented in the NBA's showcase of young talent. Fields joins Danilo Gallinari (2010), Wilson Chandler ('09), David Lee ('07) and Channing Frye and Nate Robinson ('06). John Wallace (1997) is the other Knick who has participated in the game. The players are chosen by ballots submitted by NBA assistant coaches.
Fields, the lightly-regarded prospect in the 2010 Draft whom the Knicks selected 39th overall, has had a surprising immediate impact. He's not a typical NBA shooting guard, which is a position that usually produces scoring (he is averaging a steady 10.1 points per game), but he instead has provided very consistent numbers across the stat sheet, especially in the rebounding category. He is leading all NBA guards in rebounding (7.1 per game).
Fields' rookie squad includes headliners John Wall (who won the East R.O.M. for January) and Blake Griffin (though he's technically a "sophomore"), plus Griffin's teammate, a true rookie, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Derrick Favors (Nets), Wesley Johnson (Timberwolves), Greg Monroe (Pistons) and Gary Neal (Spurs).
The Sophomores team has reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans (Kings), plus DeJuan Blair (Spurs), Stephen Curry (Warriors), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), Taj Gibson (Bulls), Jrue Holiday (76ers), Serge Ibaka (Thunder), Brandon Jennings (Bucks) and Wesley Matthews (Trail Blazers).
[What, no Jordan Hill?]
What makes the game even more interesting is that Fields' teammate, Amar'e Stoudemire, was selected to serve as an assistant coach for the Rookie team. And the veteran all-star who will be an assistant coach for the Sophomores? Carmelo Anthony.
Perhaps Amar'e and Carmelo will get to talk face to face that day, since, despite being such good friends, they both deny they have exchanged text messages this season.
The Knicks will find out on Thursday night if they'll be sending another player to All-Star Weekend, as Raymond Felton is a candidate to be among the reserves named for the East all-star team. The reserves for the respective teams are chosen by coaches in their conference. Most of the coaches have already submitted their selections, but the deadline is tomorrow.
Felton has never been an all-star and, though his numbers dipped considerably in January, he has played well enough in the first half of the season to earn consideration. But considering that Rajon Rondo is a lock and other guards such as Ray Allen and Joe Johnson are also on the conversation, Felton -- especially with the Knicks just three games over .500 -- is hardly a given.
If he does get the nod, it would be the first time the Knicks have sent two players to the all-star game since Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell went in 2001. That year was also the last the Knicks had any all-star players until David Lee went to Dallas in 2010 as an injury replacement.