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Kristaps Porzingis.

Kristaps Porzingis defends rookie Frank Ntilikina after remarks from LeBron James

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Ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers' trip to face the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, LeBron James decided to take a jab at their former president Phil Jackson with some interesting comments.

As he admitted himself, he knew it would make headlines but he didn't hesitate to speak his mind anyway.

Following the Cavs' win over the Dallas Mavericks, LeBron criticised the Knicks for passing on point guard Dennis Smith Jr. in the draft and selecting Frenchman Frank Ntilikina instead.

Smith surprisingly fell to the Mavs at number nine after New York elected to take Ntilikina with the eighth pick and James believes they made a big mistake with their selection.

"The Knicks passed on a really good one, and Dallas got the diamond in the rough," he said. "He should be a Knick. That's going to make some headlines, but he should be a Knick. Dallas is definitely, I know they're excited that he didn't go there."

Unsurprisingly, the King's remarks became a huge talking point and it didn't go down well in the Knicks camp.

Star player Kristaps Porzingis came to the defence of his rookie and rebuffed LBJ's claims that the team drafted the wrong player.

Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks

"I mean, I don't know why he made those comments, but all I can say is we love Frank, we're happy with him," Porzingis said, per ESPN.

"He's doing a great job. He's playing great, and he's doing what he's supposed to. And I would not change Frank for anybody. Simple."

Center Enes Kanter took to Twitter to respond to James' words at the time and had much more to say on the matter when speaking to the media.

"I don't care who, I just cannot let anyone disrespect my family like that, because when I play for an organisation, I see my teammates and that organisation as like a family," Kanter said.

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"And it doesn't matter if it's LeBron or whoever it is, I cannot just let him disrespect him like that. The coaches, the GMs, the president, this organisation knows what they're doing. ... I mean, come on. That's a rookie. You cannot just say anything like that about him."

This has added extra spice to the contest and we can certainly expect a sell out crowd at MSG where King James is likely to receive a hostile reception.

The Knicks will be looking for their second win over the Cavaliers already this season after blowing them out in Cleveland last month.

Topics:
NBA
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Kristaps Porzingis
New York Knicks

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