Heading into the 2010 NBA Draft, the Knicks didn’t have their own first-round pick, as they packaged it to free cap space for the coming summer. The 39th pick would be their first of the night, leaving fans in attendance at Madison Square Garden antsy and determined to make the long evening worth their while.
In true New York fashion, the orange and blue faithful were less than ecstatic when then deputy commissioner Adam Silver called Landry Fields‘ name with that pick. They rained down boos with little to no knowledge of the newest member of their beloved franchise.
Despite the perceived lack of talent, Fields would waste little time in winning over both those within the organization and the City of New York. In fact, he earned the starting two-guard spot from the beginning of the season on and impressed everyone around the league with his level of play.
Having spent four years at Stanford University, Fields possessed a high IQ well surpassing others his own age. Rarely if ever was he asked to create shots, but he was tremendous in playing off those around him as an athletic slasher and consistent outside shooter.
He started off his rookie season well, averaging 10.2 points and an astounding 7.4 rebounds per game over the first roughly 30 games of the season, while shooting 37.1 percent from downtown. Fields’ play was enough to earn him back-to-back Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Awards in November and December.
Overall, he’d average 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds and hit a stellar 39.3 percent of his outside looks during his inaugural NBA run. His play grouped him together with the top picks of the class come season’s end, where he was named a member of the All-Rookie First Team.
Unfortunately for both Fields and the Knicks, his progress failed to materialize beyond that point. Both Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler’s presence appeared to hamper Fields’ game the following season.
A move to the Toronto Raptors didn’t help. Instead, Fields would suffer a number of injuries that greatly hampered his ability to shoot the basketball, leading to his retirement after the 2014-15 season.
It was a sad and swift ending to a career that began with so much promise with the Knicks. Fans didn’t want him upon his arrival, but came to appreciate and imagine a world where his game could have grown even more.