Smith was the No. 9 overall pick back in June, but this story comes from his interaction with the New York Knicks, who had the No. 8 pick, but ended up taking the young French point guard Frank Ntilikina.
Apparently, according to Smith, he was out to dinner with Phil Jackson and others in the Knicks organization when he was pretty much forced to eat octopus for the first time in his life.
No, really. Via the New York Daily News:
Before Phil Jackson passed on perhaps the most exciting prospect of the 2017 rookie class, the Knicks president encouraged Dennis Smith Jr. to eat an exotic delicacy.
"We went out to some restaurant and they had me eat some octopus, like an actual octopus tentacle," Smith Jr. told the Daily News. "First time ever. I wasn't going to try it, honestly. They kind of put the pressure on me to do it."
The "Zen Master" strikes again!
There will often be stories about strange questions that teams ask around the draft, but Dennis Smith Jr.'s tale might be the first instance of hearing about a team making a potential draft pick eat a certain type of food.
But seriously, this is so bizarre. What on earth was the point of making him eat a small piece of octopus?