When Josh Harrellson transferred to the University of Kentucky, he was hoping to get more exposure and hopefully play in the NBA.
After his first year under Billy Gillispie, that dream couldn't have been further from reality. Harrellson averaged 3.6 points per game in just nine minutes per game.
The next season, under a new John Calipari regime, Harrellson played only four minutes per game and averaged 1.3 points. He was shoved down the depth chart because of players like DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton.
At that point, Harrellson's chances of playing professional basketball looked worse, not better.
But all of the aforementioned front-court players for Kentucky departed for the NBA, leaving Harrellson as the lone big man on a depleted roster. And in 2010-2011, he delivered one of the most surprising performances in the nation.
Harrellson's transformation was not because of Calipari's coaching skill. His rise came from his inability to quit and his drive to get better. He got in shape and made a living on the offensive glass.
Harrellson had one of his best games against Jared Sullinger and Ohio State, where he posted 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. He also showcased his dodge ball skill, which is sure to come in handy.
In all seriousness, that clip shows exactly what the New York Knicks will get with Harrellson: a center/power forward who plays with heart. He is evolving his outside game, as seen by his 4-for-8 shooting performance from beyond the arc in a win against the Sacramento Kings.
His high energy off the bench will no doubt help the Knicks this year, and at the very least he can spell Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler in a shallow front court. His willingness to fight for rebounds down low will give him plenty of minutes to be a factor.
At the end of the day, "Jorts" will be a fan favorite everywhere he goes, and he gives New York an energetic big man who will work hard throughout the season. If you are a Knicks fan, you should cheer for Josh Harrellson.
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