Before Lauri Markkanen was drafted by the Chicago Bulls, the seven-foot Finnish phenom spent some time in New York talking to some Knicks execs.
One can probably imagine how nervous Lauri must have been. Here’s this young buck in the concrete jungle, meeting with the former coach of Jordan, Kobe and Shaq; winner of 11 championship titles; the zen master himself. Talk about a bundle of nerves.
And to make matters worse, he’s probably heard the rumors about Phil Jackson’s past — how he rides public New York transportation, how he pressured Dennis Smith Jr. to try octopus tentacles once. Things aren’t looking good.
— PapaShooter™ (@hennessyfirst) June 30, 2017
And then it came out. Markkanen told his story Thursday.
“He made me taste raw fish, or raw steak,” Markkanen told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “I didn’t like it.”
But before the internet goes ablaze, let’s break this down.
Was it raw fish or was it raw beef? As responsible internet users, we need to be asking the important questions. Because raw fish is kind of okay to pawn off onto a prospective draft. The Japanese consider it a delicacy, in fact. Maybe Jackson took Markkanen to an upscale sushi restaurant and wined and dined him with the good stuff. It would be relatively acceptable for him to foist a chopstick full of sashimi into his mouth at one point during the meal. That’s just a part of the pre-draft dealings.
But if it was raw beef — well, that’s a whole different story. I’ve seen raw beef served exactly once before in my life. The person I was out to dinner with accidentally ordered it because the menu was entirely in French and he panicked. It came chopped up, looking like a pile of red brains with a raw egg cracked on top. The waiter served it like it was the most genius culinary creation on the planet. I never went back to France after that.
It may take a lot of therapy to undo what Lauri Markkanen saw on his plate at that fateful pre-draft dinner.