The Knicks are having one of the best seasons of any team in the league this year, so it’s only fitting they’re well represented in the league’s All-Star Weekend festivities.
Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler have received the highest honor of actually being named to the All-Star Game, but they’ll be joined by Steve Novak and James White. Novak will compete in the 3-point Shooting Contest, while White will take aim at the Dunk Contest.
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Novak, widely regarded as one of the best — if not the best — shooters in the league, is knocking down a team-best .444 percent from behind the arc. Last season, Novak shot a league-best .472 percent in 3-pointers and is a career .438 shooter from 3. He was a questionable snub in last season’s festivities, which was won by Minnesota power forward Kevin Love. Love is out with an injury, so there will be a new 3-point champion. Novak will be battling Stephen Curry of the Warriors, Ryan Anderson of the Hornets, Matt Bonner of the Spurs, Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers, and Paul George of the Pacers.
White is an interesting addition to the contest as he’s a relative unknown to the casual NBA fan. Yet, anyone who knows of his background from his days at the University of Cincinnati — where he earned the nickname “Flight” — is fully aware of the journeyman’s athletic ability.
He’ll compete against reigning Sprite Slam Dunk champion Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, Eric Bledsoe of the Clippers, Kenneth Faried of the Nuggets, 2007 Slam Dunk champ Gerald Green of the Pacers, and rookie Terrence Ross of the Raptors.
The 30-year-old White was a second-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2006 NBA Draft, but only has two years of NBA experience, as he’s spent most of his professional career overseas. He’s actually logged more games in the D-League (49) than in the NBA (44), and is only averaging 1.8 points in 6.7 minutes per game with six starts.
During his time at Cincinnati, White grew to be a YouTube sensation with his acrobatic forays to the tin, and used that ability to win the 2009 D-League Dunk title.
Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.