LeBron: Smith comments a shot at Phil Jackson, not NtilikinaNovember 13, 2017 5:20pm

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James says his belief that the Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr. wasn't meant to slight Frank Ntilikina, though it was intended as a swipe at Phil Jackson.

"Oh yeah, it was definitely a shot at him," James said Monday. "That's for sure."

James said Saturday after playing in Dallas that Smith should be a Knick. New York took Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick in the June draft, one spot before the Mavericks selected Smith.

James said he's known Smith since the former North Carolina State point guard was 13 or 14 years old and that they had trained together. He knows only a little about Ntilikina, a teenager from France who had played overseas with one of James' friends from Ohio.

Last offseason, Jackson had said the Knicks needed a point guard, either through the draft or free agency, and James figured they could do no better than taking Smith to play with Kristaps Porzingis. He compared his comments to his thoughts that the Cleveland Browns should have drafted quarterback Deshaun Watson with the No. 1 pick, saying that doesn't mean Myles Garrett won't become a top defensive player.

"Like I said, it's no shade at Frank. I don't even know the kid," James said at the Cavaliers' shootaround before their game against the Knicks. "I wasn't even thinking about the kid when I was talking about Dennis Smith. I was thinking about the Knicks organization and Phil Jackson at the time and Dennis Smith's talent and Porzingis."

Jackson selected Ntilikina, but that was about the last thing he did as team president, as he and the organization parted ways at the end of June. He had angered James during his three years running the Knicks when he referred to James' friends and business partners as a "posse."

"I'm not a Phil Jackson fan, I think you guys already know that," James said. "That's the past. He's not even here anymore."

___

For more NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Knicks outscore Raptors 41-10 in 3rd, win 108-100Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a career-high 38 points, including 12 during a 28-0 run in the third quarter that sent the New York Knicks to a 108-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors
Lillard and Nurkic lifts Trail Blazers over Nets 127-125Damian Lillard scored 34, Jusuf Nurkic added 29, and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied from a six-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to edge the Brooklyn Nets 127-125
Barnes' 30-footer at the horn lifts Mavs over GrizzliesHarrison Barnes banked in a 30-footer at the buzzer to give the Dallas Mavericks a 95-94 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies
LeBron James, de los Cavaliers de Cleveland, avanza junto a DeMarre Carroll, de los Nets de Brooklyn, durante el encuentro disputado el miércoles 22 de noviembre de 2017 (AP Foto/Tony Dejak)
LeBron gets stitches, scores 23 in fourth as Cavs beat Nets
Joel Embiid helps fast-starting 76ers rout Blazers 101-81Joel Embiid had 28 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks and the fast-starting Philadelphia 76ers handled another Western Conference opponent with relative ease, beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 101-81
Howard, Hornets rally to beat Wizards 129-124 in overtimeDwight Howard had 26 points and 13 rebounds, including a key block at the end of regulation and a crucial offensive rebound in overtime, in the Charlotte Hornets' 129-124 victory over the Washington Wizards
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices