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Landry Fields happy for fresh start with Raptors

Toronto Raptors guard Landry Fields stretches during the

Toronto Raptors guard Landry Fields stretches during the training camp in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Oct. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

MONTREAL -- The Knicks had 18.7 million reasons not to bring back Landry Fields. But Fields had his own reasons for not wanting to return.

Fields, now a Toronto Raptor, said he needed a change and that he lost his confidence and comfort level after Carmelo Anthony was acquired.

"It was a fresh start," Fields said before Friday night's Knicks-Raptors preseason game at the Bell Centre. "I think I needed that. It couldn't have come at a better time for me.

"It was an accumulation of things. I probably lost some confidence in myself. I couldn't really adjust as well as I'd like to. Don't want to put the blame on anybody else. It really was me; just couldn't get it done."

Fields, who averaged 8.8 points last season, also said things in his personal life contributed to his struggles after Anthony's arrival in February 2011.

It didn't stop the Raptors from giving Fields a three-year, $18.7-million deal. They were trying to block the Knicks from putting Fields in a sign-and-trade for Steve Nash. Nash ended up with the Lakers and the Knicks passed on matching the offer sheet for Fields.

The Knicks' second-round pick in 2010, Fields played a part in the Jeremy Lin phenomenon last season. Lin slept on Fields' couch -- which Fields rented and no longer has -- the night before Lin-sanity began and the two remain close friends.

Fields called the time Lin lit up the Garden "special." Fields also said Lin and Anthony had some trouble meshing their talents.

"Maybe at first," Fields said. "You look at what was going on during Jeremy Lin's whole great run. He had the ball a lot. He was doing a lot of things offensively. When Carmelo comes back [from injury], he's a player who demands the ball a lot as well. You throw in Amar'e [Stoudemire] at that point too, so you got three players that need the ball.

"A lot of times, that could clash. Other times, guys will adjust. Our adjustment period probably wasn't there last year."

A recent ESPN The Magazine story portrays Anthony as having helped push Lin out of New York because he was stealing his spotlight. But Fields said the two didn't clash.

"I never got that impression when I was there, to be honest," Fields said. "I would value Carmelo's opinion myself if I was an organization. He's a phenomenal player, top five player in the league. I can't speak for him, but if that was the case, he's definitely a guy you got to listen to when you have so much stardom like that."

Still, Fields wasn't surprised the Knicks didn't match Houston's three-year, $25.1-million offer for Lin.

"The last two years with the Knicks has been such a roller coaster," Fields said. "I'm pretty much used to that. If things had been consistent, that would have surprised me."

New York Sports