I think we can all agree that Phil Jackson is a little bit off his rocker these days after maybe dabbling in the peyote for a little too long, along with the fact that he’s getting up there in age. It’s why he’s no longer the president of the Knicks because you never knew what the hell he was about to do.
The draft stories from that have come out from Phil’s time with the Knicks have been nothing short of incredible. More specifically, this last draft in 2017 things started to get real weird. First, Jay Williams said he flat out fell asleep during a top-15 pick’s workout. After that, before the season, Dennis Smith Jr said Phil pressured him to eat an octopus tentacle for some reason.
“We went out to some restaurant and they had me eat some octopus,” Smith Jr. told the New York Daily News, “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.”
He probably had some Zen Master reasoning for doing it, which likely had nothing to do with basketball. Dennis Smith wasn’t feeling it and knowing Phil, he probably didn’t draft him because of it.
Now we have yet another draft story involving Phil and food. He’s no longer the president of the Knicks, but Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen still made sure to drop this tidbit about his time with Phil to the Daily News while the team was in NYC yesterday. Remember, this is the guy who Phill apparently wanted to replace Porzingis (speaking of Porzingis) when he wanted to trade him for those couple of months.
One of the few previous times Lauri Markkanen was in New York, he dined with Phil Jackson as part of the pre-draft process. The feeling from the Knicks, at that time, was Markkanen could serve as a replacement for Kristaps Porzingis should Jackson pull the trigger on the trade offers that were flooding his phone for the Latvian.
“He made me taste raw fish, or raw steak,” Markkanen told the Daily News. “I didn’t like it.”
The benefit of the doubt to Phil here: it could have very easily been sushi or a medium rare steak. But it also very well could’ve been actual raw meat because that is definitely something he would do.