James is not the only person who feels NY should have taken Smith, as many chastised the Knicks for going with the more raw prospect in Ntilikina over Smith when NY made its selection.
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.
"This is my rookie".
"And it doesn't matter if it's LeBron or whoever it is, I can not just let him disrespect him like that". "I think Frank's doing an unbelievable job". "However, it's not going to affect us or me". "I had nothing but respect for him as a coach for what he was able to do". And I don't care.
"It's actually surprising because I know LeBron is a really good guy, and he's really cool with the kids and everything". So that's why I was kind of pissed that he said that, because, I mean, come on, man. You can not just say anything like that about him.
The comments are being perceived as a subtle shot towards former New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, who has had heated back-and-forth exchanges with James on social media. James and Jackson have been feuding since November of a year ago, after Jackson referred to James' business associates as a "posse".
True as that may be, the comments essentially made Ntilikina the collateral damage of a jab directed at Jackson and, perhaps, Steve Mills.
But in the process of slighting Jackson Saturday night, James also took a direct shot at Ntilikina - whether he meant to or not.