The relationship between Phil Jackson and new Knicks center Joakim Noah is a weird one. We know that Noah once randomly popped into Jackson’s home in Montana unannounced, and now it has been revealed that the two share a connection in New York City through a gentleman named Daniel Rudolph, who just happens to be a 71-year-old dentist.
Rudolph apparently first met Jackson back in the 70s and the two have played pickup ball together ever since, with Rudolph also fulfilling Jackson’s dental needs. Noah also had Rudolph fixing his new fillings to fill cavities, and when the NY native wanted to meet the legendary coach, he reached out to through dentist to make it happen. T
hat is where the random trip to Montana Noah made comes into play, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports:
“I made the introduction,” Rudolph says.
The rest of the story gets strange, and perhaps speaks to the compatibility potential between center and team president — “kindred spirits,” as Rudolph calls them. Jackson was between jobs having just been spurned by the Lakers, and apparently knew Noah was going to show up at his home in Montana.
But Jackson didn’t know when.
“I took the plane, went to Montana, I knock on his door and we start talking,” Noah said last month. “He goes, ‘Why are you here?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’
“It was a great couple of days. I got an opportunity to meet one of the legends and spend time with him, it was great. Life works in mysterious ways. Now we’re here.”
Years later, Noah is now a Knick, and without Rudolph to act as the in-between and organize the initial meeting between the two stars, it may have never happened.