“I am going to protect my star players, Amar’e and Melo, and not gonna let them get roughed up, gonna be there and have their back,” Harrellson said. “I am just going to be a role player and be a banger inside.”
Second round selection Josh Harrellson, whom the Knicks acquired from the Hornets, is preparing to provide the Knicks with exactly what the team is lacking. He was drafted for his very physical play and 6’10″, 275 pound frame.
While Harrellson is certainly not a scoring machine, as is the case with fellow draftee Iman Shumpert, he won’t need to be. Donnie Walsh and the Knicks clearly drafted these two with specific roles and team needs in mind. Though Shumpert is expected to receive more minutes playing alongside Chauncey Billups and Landry Fields, Harrellson’s impact is still going to be felt even in limited playing time, should he make the team going into next season. His ability to bump and chump opponents down in the low post is certain to ease the pain for the Knicks’ two superstars, as the new Knicks rookie so appropriately noted.
Current NBA TV analyst and former head coach Mike Fratello praised Harrellson’s play at Kentucky, citing him as a big reason for Kentucky’s success last season. Fratello went on to say the prospect otherwise knows as “Jorts” finds other ways to contribute besides scoring the basketball.
In addition to calling himself a garbageman type player, Harrelson joked he was already getting used to his role in New York, as he played “bodyguard” to Shumpert as the two attended the New York Liberty game on Sunday.