LeBron James and the Cavs, in town to play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, hopped on the subway from Penn Station back to their hotel after practice Monday morning. And one of those whose interest was piqued was LeBron James, who recently said Smith was a "diamond in the rough".
Knicks center Enes Kanter took exception to LBJ's comments and took to Twitter to defend the team's decision to draft Ntilikina. "I think a lot of players favor a guy to turn on the TV and check out because you don't know what he's going to do from one night to the next". Kristaps Porzingis told reporters, "I would not change Frank for anybody". James and the Cavaliers play the Knicks on Monday night. "It's just that you're stating what you see". Jackson drafted the French point guard just before parting ways with the franchise. I know what Dennis Smith is capable of doing and I knew the Knicks had been looking for a point guard. We're competitors and we try to get all the wins we can get.
"I don't care, it doesn't matter LeBron or whoever it is. I can not let anyone disrespect my family like that".
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"To use that label - and if you go and read the definition of what the word "posse" is, it's not what I've built over my career", James said at the time.
"I'm motivated every game", he said. It's all about me and it's all about the team. "This is facts. I thought they would pick [Smith] and they didn't".
Smith has registered 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, compared to Ntilikina's 4.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists, but considering the Knicks' 7-5 record versus the Mavs' 2-12 mark and Ntilikina's superior 104.5 defensive rating (compared to Smith's 113.8), their rookie campaigns are somewhat comparable so far. I have to prove to the team.