After the Knicks beat the Bobcats on Nov. 23, I was talking to Landry Fields in the Knicks' locker room when Ronny Turiaf walked by, leaned into my tape recorder and said this about Fields: "Half man, half amazing. Rookie-sophomore game, baby. Landry Fields all day, every day."
When I caught up with Fields Friday night in the tunnel of the Staples Center, shortly after the rookies defeated the sophomores, 148-140, I asked him if he remembered what Turiaf said. Fields smiled and replied, "Yeah, I do remember that."
Here is the half-man, half-amazing player himself, reflecting on his All-Star Weekend experience.
On the most surreal thing about being in Los Angeles: "I mean, just being here I've seen so many greats of the game. Just getting a chance to meet them and have some of them know who you are. It's really an enjoyable experience for me."
On what he was thinking while sitting quietly on the bench before the game: "I was just taking it all in, trying to enjoy the experience because not a lot of people in their first year get to say, 'I went to the All-Star Weekend and actually played in the game.'"
On revisiting his hometown of Long Beach: "Yeah, I'm going to go back tomorrow, hang out with some of the fam during the day. They were here tonight too, so it was good to see them. I'm also going to hang out with some friends and just enjoy all the festivities."
On his favorite hangouts in Long Beach: "Ooh, it's like really hole-in-the-wall restaurants. There's this place called Nick's Deli that had the best breakfast burritos I've ever had in my life. There's a place called Island Grill with like a chicken teriyaki bowl. I mean, I can go on for days. Little spots."
On his rare drive, spin and fallaway move on Wesley Matthews: "Oh, yeah, I know [laughs]. I figured I was in Staples Center, I'd do something Kobe-esque. That way, I could get some respect [laughs]. It just happened to be there and it went in, so it was nice."
On connecting with Nets rookie Derrick Favors: "Yeah, yeah. He's right there. The guy's made it easy."
On playing with Blake Griffin: "He changes the ballgame because when you're driving at a man who's guarding him, [his defender] has a tougher decision to make. So he's really evolving right now."