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Knicks fire back at LeBron James' pointed comments, praise rookie Frank Ntilikina

13 November 2017

The King spoke Saturday night, saying the New York Knicks messed up by not drafted Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. James and Jackson have been feuding since November of previous year, after Jackson referred to James' business associates as a "posse". 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. The Cavaliers take on the Knicks at the Garden Monday night. "He's playing great. I would not change Frank for anybody".

"We have Frank and Frank has done a great job for us, his abilities, the way he's grown from day one and the things that he's worked on, we expect him to be a great player also", Hornacek said. "And it doesn't matter if it's LeBron or whoever it is, I can not just let him disrespect him like that".

"I don't care, it doesn't matter LeBron or whoever it is".

Ntilikina took the high road when asked about James' comments.

LeBron James has always been an admirer of Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr.'s game, dating back to Smith's season at North Carolina State and, before that, as an AAU standout out of Fayetteville, N.C.

"In life people can think whatever they want", Ntilikina said after practice Sunday in Tarrytown. "However, it's not gonna affect us and me". He's averaging 14.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds a game.

The 22-year-old Knicks unicorn has taken to find out other ways to further his development even in the minute details.

Ntilikina plays his role as well as anyone.

"I don't have to prove them, I have to prove to myself", he said. It's all about me and it's all about the team.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek isn't anxious about Ntilikina taking the comments the wrong way. He had also been 19 years old at the time.

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.

Knicks fire back at LeBron James' pointed comments, praise rookie Frank Ntilikina