LeBron James was giving props to Mavericks' rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. Saturday night after the talented rookie guard out of NC State dropped 21 points, handed out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds against the Cavs.
Smith "should have been a Knick" said James.
LeBron James says Dennis Smith "should have been a Knick" and "Dallas got a good one.
Most thought that LeBron was taking a shot at the Knicks, who the Cavs play tonight at MSG. But LeBron knew what he was saying and who he was referring to with his statement, and it wasn't New York's rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina.
No. It had nothing to do with Ntilikina and everything to do with former Knicks' President, Phil Jackson.
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Per the video, LeBron stated:
"I wasn't throwing shade at Frank at all. People got their pants in bunches. They look for any controversy here. I was basically stating what I saw in Dennis Smith. And what I saw from him, and him coming out, and watching the draft, and thought he'd be a great fit here with Porzingis. That's not to say Frank won't be a great fit. I haven't seen much of him. I knew about him from my best friend who I went to high school with, who actually played with him overseas the last couple years.
"It's the same, I mean, I think Deshaun Watson should be a Brown. Doesn't mean that Myles Garrett is not gonna be a great football player, but Deshaun Watson should have been our quarterback. It's the same thing. It's not shitting on the next guy. It's just that you're stating what you see. It's all that is, for clarification for people who just live in a box, and Enes Kanter, who's always got something to say. He says... I don't know what's wrong with him.
"Oh yeah, it's definitely a shot at Phil Jackson. That's for sure.
"Well when I was watching the draft, I thought they was gonna pick [Smith]. I talked about it with people that know the game, I know what Dennis Smith is capable of doing. I knew the Knicks have been looking for a point guard. I mean, am I stating things that false? No? This is facts, right? I thought they would pick [Smith], and they didn't. Like I said, it's no shade at Frank. I don't even know the kid. I wasn't even thinking about the kid when I was talking about Dennis Smith. I was just thinking about the Knicks organization, and Phil Jackson, and Dennis Smith's talent, and Porzingis. That's all I was thinking about."
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Many debated the Knicks passing on Smith to take Ntilikina, fearing that he would be Frederic Weis part 2.
But so far things appear to be working for the Knicks, as they are currently 7-5 with their rookie point guard. Smith, meanwhile, is averaging 14.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds a game,. but the Mavs sit at 2-12 on the season.
We'll see what happens tonight as James and the Cavs take on the Knicks for the second time this year.