Sidelined by injury, Reggie Bullock saw Knicks' ongoing culture change under Tom Thibodeau

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Garrett Stepien
·2 min read
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Reggie Bullock high fives Julius Randle
Reggie Bullock high fives Julius Randle

Knicks wing Reggie Bullock has missed the past three games with an injury, but he appears to be ready for his return entering Sunday's game, a 1 p.m. tip-off against the Los Angeles Clippers at MSG. Bullock told reporters Saturday that he was inserted into practice and with contact while working back from a sore neck.

But while sidelined, Bullock watched the Knicks' ongoing progression under head coach Tom Thibodeau from a new vantage point.

"I love it," Bullock said. "I mean, it's competitive in practice. But we're held accountable in practice. Coach expects greatness out of us. He expects us to go over the game plan and do the game plan the right way that we prepared for it. I love, when I was out, I still kept seeing guys compete -- it's always the next man up, and it's coach's decision on who he starts and who he plays. But like I said, while I was out, things were looking great. Guys were competing and I just loved the fight that we have been doing, and I feel like tomorrow will definitely be a chip on our shoulder to be able to go out and perform well against one of the best teams in the league right here."

In an eight-year NBA career spanning five teams, including the Knicks since 2019-20, Bullock delved deeper into Thibodeau's unique coaching approach.

"It's been a blessing," Bullock said. "He's one of those coaches that are definitely going to hold you accountable. He's definitely improved me on the defensive end, just the details, how detailed he is on the defensive end of things. Just a defensive mindset that our whole team has, holding everyone accountable, just trying to instill greatness into us every day -- and that's one thing that we, as players, try to hang out hat on for this organization is our defense.

"And that's what's been getting us over the hump this year and just putting a lot of pressure on teams. And hopefully, we'll continue to just keep that going throughout the season. But I love the fight that he's instilled into all the guys."