Everybody knows about Phil Jackson and his long-suffering back. But did you know that Jackson once missed game action because his back acted up on a bus ride from Seattle to Vancouver, BC?
I sure didn't, until I read this article in the Google news archives. In late December 1968, Jackson and the Knicks were en route from Seattle to Vancouver for a game with the Sonics (the two clubs met first in Seattle, then traveled by I-5 into Canada for a rematch the next day).
Apparently, the bus ride was too much for Jackson, sending him to the hospital (or, as they say in Canada, to hospital). It's worth noting that Jackson played in the Vancouver game, and in fact didn't miss any time until the middle of January, but his pain was enough to eventually sideline him for almost half of the 68/69 season.
I have no idea whether Jackson's now legendary back problems were around before the bus trip to Vancouver, but wouldn't it be something if that trip was what started the whole thing?