New York Knicks guard forward Reggie Bullock’s 2019-2020 mirrors his entire career in the NBA. After signing with the Knicks as a free agent last July, he’s had to grind. In July, Bullock went through spinal fusion surgery to repair a cervical disc herniation after being signed. In late October his sister, Keiosha Moore, was murdered in Baltimore. It was second such tragedy for Bullock and his family since entering professional basketball.
Still, he grinded through to be ready to return to play by January 1, ahead of all projections. He scored 11 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Since that game, Bullock quickly emerged as a steady performer off the bench.
As consistent as his work ethic has been his outreach to the LGBTQ community; An outreach that was born from another tragedy, the murder of his transgender sister Mia Henderson after his rookie year with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014. Since that incident, Bullock began speaking out for LGBTQ equality and anti-violence causes through his stops with the Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers and now the New York Knicks.
Tuesday night, Bullock would meet his previous team, the Lakers, in Los Angeles. Because of an injury elsewhere in the lineup, the game would become his first start for the Knicks. However, the New York Post reports a much larger honor came to Bullock when his Knicks faced the Los Angeles Clippers last Sunday. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, considered by some as one of the NBA’s premier trash-talkers, met with Bullock prior to the game, and let Bullock know how much his tribute to Henderson and his stance overall has gained respect league-wide.
“[Patrick] told me, ‘It was a pretty powerful story you got,’ ’’ Bullock told the Post Tuesday. “Even if he was trash-talking before on the sidelines. The players in the league respect what I got going on and the mission I’m on, trying to change things in different communities. I respect him for being able to come up to me in the midst of the game and say he respects my story.”
Since joining the Knick lineup on January 1, Bullock has worn his braided hair adorned with rainbow streaks as an homage to both sisters lost to violence. The tribute joins a number of tattoos he wears in memory of Henderson and as a symbol of his pro-equality views.
“It’s a mark I do for my sisters,’’ Bullock said about his hair. “Dedication to my sister this season. It’s something that is going to stick with me. It’s a mark for my family, something to go into games with. I’m feeling like they’re with me.”
In his first start as a Knick, Bullock went 3-for-9 from the field for 7 points in a rough 117-87 loss to the Lakers. Win or lose, each game is another chance for Bullock to make an impact on the floor with his play, and off it because of his story.
“It’s something that happened with my family, and if it’s possible to make a change and bring awareness to it,’’ Bullock said. “I think I’ve done a great job over the past couple of years and I’m getting a lot of respect from it.”