Reggie Bullock had sat out the first 33 games of the season, rehabilitating from offseason surgery, so missing one game this past week because of an injury wouldn’t normally be that hard for him to take.
But if there was a game that really meant something to him, it was the one Thursday night, which made it hard to watch from the sideline. The Knicks were hosting LGBTQ Pride Night, and for Bullock, it held a special place in his heart.
He first served as host of one of these nights two years ago when he was with the Pistons, honoring his transgender sister, Mia Henderson, who was found murdered in Baltimore in July 2014. For this one, Bullock could not play, but he sat on the bench wearing a T-shirt that he had designed by kids at the Hetrick-Martin Community Center, the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQ youth organization.
“It was definitely tough to have to sit out,” Bullock said. “But obviously it’s a night that means something, so much to my family and to me. It was a great night. I saw all the groups that were there, they brought some kids out, we made some T-shirts. It was a great night overall. All I wish is that my sister was there and to be able to see the nights that’s been going on in the league. I know she’s proud of me, looking down on me. That’s all I can really do is continue voicing my opinion and standing up and bringing awareness to it and just keep living within her name.”
The work that Bullock has done in the community and to push for equality for a community that he doesn’t belong to is a tribute to his sister and part of her ongoing legacy. He lost another sister, Kiosha Moore, to gun violence in Baltimore in October. When he plays, he wears his hair with two rainbow-colored braids in front to serve as a reminder of his sisters.
Even though his sister is not here to see the support he is providing, when he works with children who are enduring the same fight for equality that she experienced, he feels she is with him.
“For sure, definitely,” he said. “Going to talk to like Hetrick-Martin, I’m going to go talk to different organizations within the LGBTQ community, I definitely feel like every time I bring up her name, bring up her story, I get chills. I feel her presence and I know she’s living within me. I just have to continue doing my part, keep using my platform and just keep pushing.”
Rumors, just rumors
It was reported last week that the Knicks were among the suitors in the trade market for Pistons center Andre Drummond, but according to a league source, the Knicks have not been involved in talks for him. While the Knicks figure to be active in trying to move some of their expiring contracts, Drummond, who has a $28 million player option next season (there are reports he will decline it), doesn’t fit the Knicks’ timeline unless they use him to get out of Julius Randle’s contract, which has another guaranteed season after this one.
The NBA put out a list of the 15 most popular jerseys Friday along with a list of the top 10 teams for merchandise sales. And while it’s understandable that the Knicks might not have a player in the top 15 — they don’t — with an 11-31 record through Friday and no players who figure to be All-Stars, it still is odd to imagine they were not ranked among the top 10 in team merchandise. The Knicks have had plenty of down years in the last 20 seasons but still always have been one of the hottest commodities in the market.
The Nets are ranked No. 10, with Kyrie Irving at No. 10 in jersey sales and Kevin Durant two spots later, even if he hasn’t actually suited up in his jersey yet.