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Rod Strickland joins All The Smoke to discuss NBA Draft disappointment, near fight with Mark Jackson

Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson are joined by the longtime NBA vet and NYC hoops legend on the latest All The Smoke.

On the latest edition of All The Smoke, Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson were joined by longtime NBA vet and 1988 first-round pick Rod Strickland.

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Rod chopped it up with Matt and Stak on everything from his history in New York basketball to his college days to his time in the league, including with the Knicks, to his connection with Kyrie Irving and more.

Strickland is one of the best point guards ever to come out of NYC, which is saying something given the storied history of New York City basketball. So, when Rod was selected by his hometown Knicks with the 19th pick overall in the 1988 NBA Draft that should have been great news, right?

“Home team, but I wasn’t excited” Rod said.

Rod says he was told he would go somewhere between the seventh pick and No. 15, with the Sonics telling his agent that if he was available at No. 15 they would be taking him. Rod says he was nervous because murmurs began that he was slipping down the board, and when the Celtics and Lakers started calling from the bottom of the first round there were worries he could drop out of the first round entirely. But he never expected the Knicks to draft him.

The Knicks already boasted Mark Jackson at the point, who they had selected out of St. John’s with the 18th overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. When New York picked Rod he was surprised and actually got booed in New York, which was crazy too him. Not to mention that Jackson wasn’t thrilled the Knicks were drafting another point guard in the first round just one year after selecting him. Rod says Jackson is his guy though and Rod himself admits he wouldn’t have liked it if the roles were reversed.

Rod says pairing two point guards like himself and Jackson was ahead of its time and wasn’t being done at that point. People weren’t ready for it. He wishes they could have done it more because he thinks they would have been really good. He and Jackson always had respect for each other, but it was a clash and it was hard. And Rod admits he tried to fight Jackson one day in practice. Rod says they laugh about it all the time now, but Rod says he was mad one day and frustrated and everytime Jackson came off the ball screen he was just hitting him. But Jackson is his guy now and Rod says he has the utmost respect for him. Rod notes that Jackson was professional while he admits that he struggled with that. That was the difference, Rod says. Jackson has the ability to make everyone think that they’re better than they are, Rod says. It’s what he did as a player and what he did as a coach with the Warriors.

Meanwhile, Rod wants to point out that the Eurostep isn't a new thing — players have been doing it for decades!

Watch or listen to the full episode below and keep an eye on DraftKings Network for new episodes of All The Smoke every Thursday at 6 p.m. ET!


Rod Strickland | Ep 217 | ALL THE SMOKE Full Episode

  • The OG himself, one of the best point gods to come out of NYC, Rod Strickland joins the boys on today’s episode of ALL THE SMOKE. Strickland opens up about his time in the NBA, his regrets and more. Plus, he talks about coaching college at LIU Brooklyn, growing up in the Bronx, NYC’s best point guards of all-time, Kyrie Irving’s greatness, and today’s NBA.


Check out the DraftKings YouTube page and the All The Smoke Productions YouTube page for more. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Instagram at @Matt_Barnes9 and @_Stak5_ as well as All The Smoke Productions.

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