Phil Jackson apparently pushed weird food on draft prospects

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Phil Jackson apparently tried to get draft prospects out of their comfort zone and try exotic foods during the interview process. (Getty Images)

Just when you think peyote Phil can’t get any farther out there, he does.

Now comes word that Phil Jackson had draft prospects, including Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen, try some exotic foods during interviews.

Jackson implored Dennis Smith Jr. to try octupus during their sit-down.

Smith told the New York Daily News: “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.”

Markkanen told the Daily News the Knicks used the same tactic with him during the pre-draft interview. “He made me taste raw fish or raw steak,” Markkanen said. “I didn’t like it.”

The Knicks had the eighth pick, so Markkanen was gone to the Bulls at No. 7. Jackson passed on Smith, who went a pick later to the Mavs, in favor of Frank Ntilikina, an 18-year-old point guard from France.

Markannen (15.4) and Smith (14) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, among rookies in scoring. Ntilikina, known as the French Prince, hasn’t started a game for the Knicks and is averaging 5.7 points per game.

So what type of cuisine did Ntilikina eat to earn the nod from the erstwhile Knicks president, who’s known for strange interviews?

It’s unclear, but in a post-draft story Ntilikina listed pasta as his favorite meal.

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