LeBron James: Knicks Comments Were A Shot At Phil Jackson, Not Ntilikina

Nov 11 2017 Dallas TX USA Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James talks to Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. as they walk up the court during the fourth quarter at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Spor

Nov 11 2017 Dallas TX USA Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James talks to Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. as they walk up the court during the fourth quarter at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Spor

And one of those whose interest was piqued was LeBron James, who recently said Smith was a "diamond in the rough". We're competitors and we try to get all the wins we can get.

It didn't take much time at all for Knicks center Enes Kanter to jump to the defense of the player whom NY opted to select at No. 8 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft: Frank Ntilikina.

That said, Ntilikina now leads his squad in net rating, with the Knicks outscoring opponents by 6.2 points per 100 possessions when he's been on the floor. He knows only a little about Ntilikina, a teenager from France who had played overseas with one of James' friends from Ohio.

There has been bad blood between James and Jackson since the former Knicks exec called James' business associates "a posse" in an ESPN interview last season.

Angelo also said he snapped because James had come close to elbowing him several times and he had asked James to mind his space. "I can not just let him disrespect him like that", Kanter said.

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"I don't know why he (James) made those comments, but all I can say is we love Frank", Kristaps Porzingis said. "And I believe the only reason he used that word is because he sees young African-Americans trying to make a difference".

"I don't care, it doesn't matter LeBron or whoever it is. This is facts. I thought they would pick [Smith] and they didn't".

"To be honest with you, they got on and they completely squished me and he was really unaware of his space", Angelo said, adding, "It was first thing in the morning". I have to prove to the team.

Smith is averaging 14.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Mavericks (2-11). It's all about me and it's all about the team.

"They're both great young players", Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We have Frank, and Frank has done a great job for us".

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