http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/camby-chandler-rookie-davis-article-1.1204730A stop Tuesday night in New Orleans represents the latest game against a team with a losing record for the rolling Knicks, but the Hornets aren't likely to remain a bottom-rung team in the NBA for long after adding Anthony Davis with the No.1 overall pick in the 2012 draft.
"He's a great young player," said Knicks center Tyson Chandler, who worked with the former Kentucky star with Team USA at the 2012 Olympics. "He was willing to learn. He was working after every practice. I made him do a couple drills with me, do some stairs and some extra conditioning, and he was all for it. He's definitely a sponge and he has a bright career ahead of him."
The Hornets' 21-45 record was the worst in the Western Conference last season, but they are 3-5 this year with a team that regularly starts rookie Austin Rivers and third-year players Greivis Vasquez and Al-Farouq Aminu, along with fifth-year center Robin Lopez.
Davis, who was added to the U.S. Olympic team as its 12th man after Blake Griffin dropped out with a knee injury, is averaging 16 points and 8.3 rebounds in 28 minutes over his first six NBA games, including career highs of 28 and 11 Saturday against Milwaukee. The 19-year-old power forward also missed two games earlier this month with a mild concussion after he was inadvertently elbowed in the head by Rivers in the Hornets' Nov. 2 win over Utah.
Davis' game often has been compared to that of current Knicks reserve center Marcus Camby, only with better offensive potential.
"He was well-coached in college — we shared the same coach — and he's very athletic, has a knack for the basketball and he plays good defense," said Camby, who played for current Kentucky coach John Calipari at UMass. "Every time I watched (Davis) last year that's all I heard was the comparisons between him and myself. I think a lot of that has to do with coach Cal. He coached both of us and groomed us into the players and men we are today."
Camby (2006-07) and Chandler (2011-12) have won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award in their careers, but Chandler believes Davis' offensive upside is greater than both current Knicks.
"It's different than me and Marcus," Chandler said. "The way he blocks shots and rebounds is just like Marcus. The difference is Marcus was big his whole life, just like myself, but Anthony had a late growth spurt, so his skill level is a little different than me and Marcus. It's better."