What might those reasons be? Or are we stuck with just a loaded phrase. I don't think it was for PR reasons at all, more locker room reasons. A guy who won't complain to reporters looking for headlines because of playing time. People can say what they want about who they wanted to draft, every single fan as the proverbial should have taken this guy or that guy. Hobson was on top of their list too. Rautins is a player who may never become a rotation player in the league, like 50% or more of everyone taken in every 2nd round of every single draft.
Because Fields had spinal surgery in the days leading up to the draft and didn't come out of the hospital until draft day, Walsh had to trust in his two top college scouts, Mark Hughes, who heads the Western region, and Misho Ostarcevic, the director of player personnel and Pac-10 aficionado, who lives in Utah.
On the morning of the draft, Walsh took a final look at Stanford game tape of Fields and told Hughes, "I don't know about this. He looks too good to be taken down there. He was high scorer in the Pac-10, had a 39-inch vertical leap. I don't know how he lasts until 38."
He did. The Knicks held back-to-back picks at 38 and 39 and chose Syracuse favorite Andy Rautins first for public-relations reasons.
Looks like the other half of that 50% REALLY right, with serious extra credit.