This is bound to be entertaining . . . or a complete disaster.
Knicks scouts had their eyes on Josh Harrellson, the burly 6-10 center from Kentucky, since they saw him at a pro day workout in Lexington last month. They brought him in for a workout and Mike D'Antoni immediately took a liking to Harrellson, who has soft hands, is a quick thinker and can both hit the short-range jumper and finish on the pick-and-roll. He can also rebound.
Can he do it at the NBA level? That's the question. Harrellson is no David Lee when it comes to quickness and athleticism, but the Knicks will give him every opportunity to try. And as we saw in the NCAA Tournament, this dude isn't afraid to use his fouls.
Harrellson was a favorite among Wildcats fans. When the Knicks grabbed him in the second round, I heard from several Kentucky fans. Then I heard from one of the team's beat writers, Brett Dawson (Courier-Journal and Rivals.com), who said this:
"If you've followed college basketball at all, you probably know about the whole 'Jorts' thing. Harrellson wears jeans shorts. When he was in junior college (he went one year, then played three at Kentucky), he was captured in a photo on his official visit to Kentucky wearing them, a blog nicknamed him Jorts, and it stuck. He loves it.
Two famous stories about him that might be worth getting into at some point: his sophomore year at Kentucky, then-coach Billy Gillispie got so [ticked] off at him that he made him spend an entire halftime (at Vanderbilt, I think) sitting in a bathroom stall in the locker room.
And more importantly, if you've never heard this one: he basically became a draftable player because of Twitter. Harrellson had 26 rebounds in Kentucky's preseason Blue/White Scrimmage, and after the game, Calipari said either Harrellson was improved or Kentucky was the worst rebounding team in the country. Harrellson didn't feel like he was getting enough praise, so he aired his grievances on Twitter.
Harrellson tweeted: "Either we are the worst offensive rebounding team or he had gotten better”!!! Just amazing to me I can’t get a good job or way to go" then, "yes he has been working hard this off season… It is just amazing to me but I look past it and keep trucking! You can’t stop this train!!!"
Cal got pissed, took away Harrellson's twitter account (he's back on now at @BigJorts55) and punished him with extra conditioning. Turns out that got Harrellson in really great shape, and once the punishment was over, he kept coming in for the extra running, got himself in the best shape of his life, then started showing flashes that he could actually play. He had a huge game against Louisville, and then really took off in the postseason. He pretty much traces it all back to those tweets."
Almost makes you wish the Knicks still had Nate Robinson . . . .