Sports

Fields a spectator for basketball game at Maples Pavilion

Stanford grad starts for the New York Knicks these days

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

Landry Fields showed up at Maples Pavilion on Thursday night decked out in fancy attire and a new attitude.

The Stanford grad was in town with the New York Knicks, for whom he starts less than a year after leading the Cardinal in scoring (22.0), rebounding (8.8), blocked shots (25), steals (51) and minutes played (36.2). The Knicks play at the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

"To a certain extent I was surprised," Fields said. "But I had confidence in my ability so think that where I'm at is not a fluke."

Fields, who was a virtual unknown as a junior at Stanford, skyrocketed onto the national scene after reaching double figures in scoring in all 32 games last year and carrying the load in leadership too.

It all led to becoming the 39th player taken in last year's NBA draft and the opportunity to display his skills.

"I thought about the NBA every day," Fields said. "As a junior I couldn't image myself in this position at all though. Back then I was more of a role guy. I didn't start to envision this until midway through my senior year."

Fields grew up a Lakers fan in Los Angeles, so the transition to New York City was a little easier; though he thinks the traffic is worse in Manhattan.

"There's media everywhere in New York too," he said. "You have to watch what you're doing 24/7."

Fields, who received a nice ovation from the crowd when introduced during a timeout, spoke to Stanford players before the game about the importance of listening to the coaching staff.

He credited Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins for helping him with his approach to the game.

"It's more about keeping a calm demeanor," Fields said. "It's more mental than anything else in the NBA. I try to go out and have fun."

Fields wears uniform No. 6 with the Knicks, a conglomeration of his junior high number (31) and last year's number (2). He added the digits up to get six.

It's been a steady ride from draft day to opening night, with a system that fits Fields nicely. No longer needing to worry about school, he's loosened up and is averaging 10.8 points a game in 12 games with the Knicks.

Fields scored 21 points and had 17 rebounds in the Knicks' 120-118 loss to Denver on Tuesday night. He'll be looking for something similar against the Warriors.

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