There have been many great nicknames in the NBA -- Wilt the Stilt. Sir Charles. Dr. J. Penny. Air Jordan.
Even though Josh Harrellson and his nickname -- "Jorts" -- became legendary in college at the University of Kentucky, he knows he has a lot of work before he can add his name to the list of great NBA nicknames.
He received the nickname after he was seen wearing jean shorts to his official visit to the University of Kentucky. Jean shorts are not often seen as the pinnacle of fashion but for Josh they are very functional. "I always wear basketball shorts under my shorts and the jean shorts are just easy and comfortable to put on. My dad always wore them when I was growing up so they are just something that I have always worn."
Since the lockout has kept him from working with his new Knicks teammates, the former Kentucky icon and 45th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft has come to IMG Academy for training that will help his rebounding, vertical jump and overall quickness.
He has many great stories to tell about his time at UK and the fans, including the time he was asked to autograph a shaved dog at an autograph session. His favorite moment was a tough one to name, but he said it was âbeating North Carolina to go to the Final Four and seeing the enjoyment on all the faces of the players, fans and Coach Cal.â
It was one tough moment that may have best shaped Harrellson's career.
The next moment took place under Kentucky's new coach, John Calipari, and looking back Josh says it changed his lifestyle and put him in a place where he could succeed. After a preseason scrimmage in which he played well, but got no recognition, Harrellson went to Twitter to express his feelings of being disrespected. The tweet caught the eye of Coach Calipari who suspended Harrellson from Twitter and made him do extra training exercises.
âI didn't think I would be playing, but Coach Cal's punishment turned me around and it was the best thing I ever did.â
After his successful senior year and impressive run through March Madness, Harrellson was confident that he would be drafted somewhere on draft night. âI had a good feeling I was going to be going somewhere. I knew I had good workouts for teams that had late picks.â As the draft went on he started getting nervous until his name was finally called with the 45th pick by New Orleans before being traded to the Knicks.
âWhen I finally got my name called 60-70 people around me started going crazy. Just to experience that was great.â
Harrellson is more than ready to make an impact in New York. The self-named âGarbage Manâ player is ready to do the dirty work in order to help bring a championship to the Knicks. Fans in New York can expect a great team player that is more than willing to put the team's needs first.
âI don't have to go out there and score 15-20 points a game, I'm going out there with two of the best at the position and a legendary point guard. I'm going to get the rebounds, dive on the floor for the ball, and I will always have my teammates' backs. That is what I am there for.â
While he was here we had him give a shout-out to fans of his alma mater Kentucky and Knicks fans who will get to know him well soon.