LeBron James would like to clear the air about who he really dislikes.
The Cleveland Cavaliers forward appeared to take a blatant shot at the Knicks this weekend when he said New York made a mistake by taking Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft instead of Dennis Smith Jr.
But apparently James has no beef with the Knicks — he just hates former team president Phil Jackson.
“Oh yeah, it’s definitely a shot at (Jackson),” James said about his comments Monday morning in New York, via ESPN.com. “That’s for sure.”
“I wasn’t even thinking about (Ntilikina) when I was talking about Dennis Smith. I was thinking about just the Knicks organization and Phil Jackson at the time, and Dennis Smith’s talent and (his fit with Kristaps) Porzingis. That’s all I was thinking about.”
James’ animosity for Jackson goes back to last year, when the Cavs star publicly ripped Jackson for referring to James’ business partners as his “posse.” It appears that animosity hasn’t gone away, either.
“Phil was just a small piece (of the Knicks’ recent struggles),” James said. “Well, he was a big piece of it, actually. … I’m not a fan of Phil Jackson, though. I think you guys already know that.”
James’ initial comments still rubbed several Knicks the wrong way, including big man Enes Kanter, who told reporters Sunday that he “cannot just let (James) disrespect (Ntilikina) like that.” LeBron fired back on Monday, though.
“For Enes Kanter who always (has) something to say,” James said. ” … I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”
James and the Cavs take on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, and we have a feeling he might be met with some hostility.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images
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