LeBron James to Knicks: 'You should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr.'

Oct 2 2017 Boston MA USA Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum shoots over Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown during the first half of a preseason game at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn't matter if it's LeBron or whoever it is, I can not just let him disrespect him like that because the coaches, the GMs, the president, this organization knows what they're doing. And I don't care. He's second amongst rookies in steals per game, fifth in assists, and ranks third in the National Basketball Association in deflections per 36 minutes behind just Paul George and Thaddeus Young.

After starting the season late, Ntilikina has found his stride with the Knicks and has established himself as the team's best point guard and a two-way presence.

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"The Knicks passed on a really good one", James added, "and Dallas got the diamond in the rough". "Why Knicks? It was kind of surprising, but I can not let anyone disrespect my organization or my family or my brothers like that". "I said, just pass it somewhere".

The Mavs took Smith with the No. 9 overall pick of the draft, one pick after the Knicks selected Ntilikina. "Because when I play for an organization, I see my teammates and that organization like a family".

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Jackson, the legendary former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach whose rocky stint as an executive with the Knicks ended in June, angered James a year ago with comments in an ESPN interview characterizing James' business associates as a "posse". James believed Jackson's comments had racist undertones. We love what we got...

Smith, a 19-year-old whom James has mentored since he was in high school, has shown flashes of brilliance early in his career. "We're just trying to get him back to where he was".

Porzingis told Adam Zagoria of SNY that Ntilikina is doing a "great job" in NY and the team loves him for it. I would not change Frank for anybody. "He's playing great, and he's doing what he's supposed to".

It's unlikely that James was attempting to insult Ntilikina in any manner whatsoever. But LeBron James, all-time great/part-time unofficial National Basketball Association analyst, didn't think the rookie point guard should have been at the MSG Training Center. That's what it's for, to enable these guys to go down and play a couple games, get their rhythm, still practicing with us.

Thankfully, Kanter jumped to Ntilikina's defense and expressed how grateful he is to have the two-time LNB Pro A Best Young Player award-winner on the roster.

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