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Phil Jackson, In 1986, Admitted That Championship Knicks Teams Deflated Balls

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Apparently the Patriots aren't the only team that deflates balls, assuming you believe that the organization was behind "Deflate-gate."

And, as it happens, deflation isn't just limited to football.

Knicks president Phil Jackson told the Chicago Tribune in 1986 that the championship squads of 1970 and 1973 deflated basketballs to gain an advantage.

"What we used to do was deflate the ball," Jackson told the newspaper nearly 30 years ago. "We were a short team with our big guys like Willis (Reed), our center, only about 6-foot-8. And Jerry Lucas also 6-foot-8, (Dave) DeBusschere, 6-foot-6. So what we had to rely on was boxing out and hoping the rebound didn't go long.

"To help ensure that, we'd try to take some air out of the ball. You see, on the ball it says something like 'inflate to 7 to 9 pounds.' We'd all carry pins and take the air out to deaden the ball. It also helped our offense because we were a team that liked to pass the ball without dribbling it, so it didn't matter how much air was in the ball.

"It also kept other teams from running on us because when they'd dribble the ball, it wouldn't come up so fast."

So there you have it. Who knew?

Jackson played for the Knicks from 1967-78.

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