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Phil Jackson Had An Insane Request For Dennis Smith Jr. During Pre-Draft Dinner


Phil Jackson may be gone, but the Knicks are still feeling the consequences of his poor decision making. The draft may have involved one of those poor decisions.As New York tries to deal with the Carmelo Anthony drama, they are left with a broken roster.

As New York tries to deal with the Carmelo Anthony drama, they are left with a broken roster. A miserable contract with Joakim Noah and Tim Hardaway Jr has limited what the Knicks can do financially.

That's why young talent is so important to this team, and why not drafting a guy like Dennis Smith Jr or Malik Monk may have been a fatal move. Although it's too early to judge how Frank Ntilikina will fare, nobody will blame you for being frustrated with the choice.

But when you hear a possible reason why Phil wasn't too keen on Dennis Smith Jr., it may throw you over the edge.

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In an exclusive with Stefan Bondy of the Daily News, Smith Jr detailed the bizarre event Phil Jackson tried to make him do during his pre-draft visit with the Knicks:

“We went out to some restaurant and they had me eat some octopus, like an actual octopus tentacle. First time ever. I wasn’t going to try it, honestly. They kind of put the pressure on me to do it,”

Nobody in their right minds would blame Dennis Smith Jr for not wanting to eat the octopus. Could Phil Jackson have been playing some mind game with the prospect? If he eats the octopus, does it somehow mean he's right for the team?

Obviously, an octopus wouldn't be the only reason why Phil elected against drafting Dennis Smith Jr, and it may not have been a reason at all. Either way, it's a very strange request to make in a time like that.

It's just weird how much pressure that Dennis claims Phil put on him to eat the tentacle. Could it have been some test? Is Phil just obsessed with octopus tentacles? Who knows what Phil Jackson was doing back then, but for some reason, making judgments based off of what a prospect eats doesn't seem to be out of his character.