Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James conjured up headlines after saying the New York Knicks messed up by passing up on Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Many took James’ comments as a shot at Knicks rookie guard Frank Ntilikina who was taken just one pick before the young Mavericks guard.
Knicks teammates and coaches have since come to Ntilikina’s defense both on and off the court. However, the three-time champ clarified his statement by pointing to Smith Jr.’s stellar rookie campaign thus far.
“I’m just stating facts that’s all,” James said, “Have you seen Dennis Smith [Jr.] play? Have y’all seen him play? Get out of here, y’all trippin.”
David Yapkowitz ·
There is certainly some truth to LeBron James’ comments after having faced off against both rookies this year. Dennis Smith Jr. confirmed his notion by going off for 21 points, seven assist and five rebounds against the Cavs.
Meanwhile, Frank Ntilikina floundered offensively in his debut versus James with just seven points and two assists, however, he did manage to put up a strong effort on the defensive end with six steals. Although he may have meant no offense to the Knicks rookie, there was clearly some tension between the two after Ntilikina’s night was highlighted by a run-in with ‘The King’ en route to an embarrassing loss for the Knicks after being up by 23 points at one point in the second half.