Phil Jackson, what is wrong with you scaring away potential draftees for the Knicks?
P-Jax made headlines in August of last year after it became public that Jackson tried to pressure Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. to eat raw octopus in a pre-draft dinner meeting between the two:
“We went out to some restaurant and they had me eat some octopus, like an actual octopus tentacle,” Smith Jr. told New York Daily News. “First time ever. I wasn’t going to try it, honestly. They kind of put the pressure on me to do it.”
Sounds strange right?
Well, guess what? It wasn’t the only time Jackson tried to get a potential rookie to eat some weird stuff before the draft, as Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen has recently come forward with his own story to tell about Jackson and raw food before the draft, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
“He made me taste raw fish, or raw steak, I didn’t like it.”
Markannen said he didn’t know the point Jackson was trying to prove by testing if he would eat the food or not:
“I don’t know. Maybe he was trying to get something from my personality with that,” Markkanen said.
It’s ironic, because a week after the 2017 NBA draft, Jackson was fired from his position as the president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks, his final act drafting Frank Ntilikina out of France.
Considering that two rookies from this draft class have come out and let some of Jackson’s pre-draft tests public knowledge, I wonder how many more rookies PJ has tried to feed raw meat to before?