Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina didn’t respond directly to LeBron James on Sunday after a Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star pronounced a night progressing that New York should have drafted Mavericks ensure Dennis Smith Jr. But Ntilikina’s teammates strongly shielded him in a arise of James’ comments.
“I mean, we don’t know since he done those comments, though all we can contend is we adore Frank, we’re happy with him,” Kristaps Porzingis told reporters after a Knicks’ use on Sunday. “He’s doing a good job. He’s personification great, and he’s doing what he’s ostensible to. And we would not change Frank for anybody. Simple.”
James unleashed what could be deliberate one final shot during former Knicks boss Phil Jackson on Saturday, dogmatic that Smith, who a Mavericks comparison ninth altogether in this year’s draft, “should be a Knick.” The Knicks motionless to pass on Smith with what finished adult being a final breeze collect of Jackson’s reign as group president, selecting Ntilikina eighth overall.
“The Knicks upheld on a unequivocally good one, and Dallas got a solid in a rough,” James pronounced after a Cavaliers’ 111-104 win Saturday night over a Mavericks. “He should be a Knick. That’s going to make some headlines, though he should be a Knick. Dallas is definitely, we know they’re vehement that he didn’t go there.”
“I don’t caring who, we only can't let anyone disregard my family like that, since when we play for an organization, we see my teammates and that classification as like a family,” Kanter told reporters on Sunday. “And it doesn’t matter if it’s LeBron or whoever it is, we can't only let him disregard him like that. The coaches, a GMs, a president, this classification knows what they’re doing. … we mean, come on. That’s a rookie. You can't only contend anything like that about him.
“I don’t care, it doesn’t matter LeBron or whoever it is. we don’t caring who. we can't let anyone disregard my family like that.”
Ntilikina seemed to take a high highway Sunday.
“I consider in life people can consider whatever they want,” Ntilikina said. “However, it’s not gonna impact us and me, so whatever is said, whatever people think, me and a group are only focused on what we’re doing each day to urge and only to make us better.”
Asked either he sees himself in a adversary with Smith, Ntilikina added: “I️ see adversary with all a indicate guards in a league. we see adversary with all a teams in a league. We’re competitors and we try to get all a wins we can get. All we can contend is a lot of people consider what they wish and it contingency not impact us so we only have to stay focused on what we’re doing to improve.”
Asked either he had anything to infer to a rest of a NBA, he added: “I don’t have to infer to them, we have to infer to myself. we have to infer to a team. It’s all about me and it’s all about a team. we don’t caring what people say.”
Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers manager whose hilly army as an executive with a Knicks finished in June, hurt James a year ago with comments in an ESPN talk characterizing James’ business associates as a “posse.” James responded by observant that he mislaid all honour for Jackson.
“No attribute during all,” James pronounced final November, when he done it transparent that he believed a tenure “posse” had secular connotations. “I had zero though honour for him as a manager for what he was means to do. Obviously he was during a helm of [the group featuring] my favorite actor of all time [Michael Jordan], and also being there flourishing adult and examination him with a Lakers, though we got zero for him.”
ESPN’s Ian Begley contributed to this report.