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During Knicks' embarrassing loss, Phil Jackson walks the dog

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

Jackson would rather walk the dog than watch a full Knicks' game. (USATSI)
Phil Jackson would rather walk the dog than watch a full Knicks' game. (USATSI)

Did you watch the entire game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks Tuesday night? If you're a Lakers' fan, you probably wanted to see how bad the damage could be following the Knicks giving up a 51-point third quarter to the Lakers. If you're a Knicks' fan, you probably wanted to go for a walk or watch something less painful like the movie Hostel. New Knicks' president Phil Jackson opted to leave the arena early and take the dog for a walk.

According to the New York Times, Jackson started to leave the Staples Center with just under nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. Enough was enough in watching his new project getting destroyed by one of the worst teams in the league. The final result was the Lakers beating a Knicks team fighting for their playoff lives by 31 points, while Jackson got the dog a little exercise.

With 8 minutes 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Phil Jackson had seen enough. He texted his fiancée, Jeanie Buss, and agreed to meet at the loading dock inside Staples Center where their car would be waiting. The Knicks were losing by 26 points.

“It was awful, huh,” Jackson, the new Knicks president, said with a slight grin as he exited a luxury suite in the corner of the arena and took an elevator down to the floor level.

When Jackson exited the elevator, he stopped to use the bathroom. Then he made his way down familiar corridors, through a door and to his car. An attendant held the driver's door open for Jackson. Buss was in the passenger seat.

What did he have planned for the rest of the night?

“I think I'll walk the dog,” he said.

The Knicks entered that game against the Lakers needing to make up 2.5 games in the final 12 contests on an Atlanta Hawks team that is missing several key players and trying to piece together lineups and rotations. And that's the effort they came up with against a Lakers team that looks more like a David Kahn experiment gone horribly, horribly wrong.

As Jackson mentions in the New York Times article, this probably started with them blowing a 17-point lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. That malaise and failure carried over to the Lakers game Tuesday night, briefly hitting a hiccup of competency with a 14-point defensive first quarter. Then over the course of the second and third quarter, they surrendered 87 points, more than the San Antonio Spurs allowed the Lakers to score nearly two weeks ago.

All season long, we've waited to see if the Knicks would pull it together and find a way to replicate the way they won 54 games a season ago when they were supposedly put back on the map in the NBA world. Instead, this entire season has been one hiccup of competency after another as they breathe failure in and out on a nightly basis.

Maybe it was a good thing for Jackson to see up close and personal. He needed to see this team hit the worst of the worst in Jackson's old building to give him an idea of just how much turnover their has to be with this roster and the organization in general. Status quo leads to embarrassment here and leaves you wanting to walk your dog around the block instead.

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