Phil Jackson left Knicks’ loss to Lakers early to walk his dog
After stringing together a nice little eight-game win streak earlier this month, the New York Knicks have now lost back-to-back games. They are three games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference with just 11 games remaining, which means one losing streak could end New York’s season. Even Phil Jackson couldn’t bring himself to watch his new team’s latest loss.
The Los Angeles Lakers destroyed the Knicks by a score of 127-96 on Tuesday night. New York gave up 51 points in the third quarter, which was a franchise record and the most the Lakers have ever scored in one quarter in their team’s history. Jackson left the game with about nine minutes remaining and Billy Witz of the New York Times caught up with him.
“It was awful, huh?” Jackson said as he left his luxury suite.
Jackson told Witz that he texted his fiancee Jeanne Buss to meet him outside the Staples Center. When he eventually made his way to his car with Buss in the passenger seat, the Zen Master was asked what he had planned for the rest of the evening.
“I think I’ll walk to dog,” he replied.
Make no mistake about it — Jackson was disgusted. He can come up with all the quirky responses he wants, but getting blown out by the Lakers like that stings a little worse than it would against any other team. So did watching his team give up 51 points in 12 minutes.
“51 points,” Jackson said. “When it’s 35 points you start to get worried. When it’s a 51-point quarter, that’s really awful.”
The Knicks are within striking distance of the playoffs, but that doesn’t seem to have created a great sense of optimism surrounding the team.
“We’re in a talent hunt,” Jackson added. “We have to bring in talent.”
Expect some big changes in New York this offseason with Phil running the show.