LeBron James took shot at Phil Jackson not Frank Ntilikina

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"I think in life people can think whatever they want", Ntilikina said.

James unleashed what could be considered one final shot at former Knicks president Phil Jackson on Saturday, declaring that Smith, who the Mavericks selected ninth overall in this year's draft, "should be a Knick".

"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", Kristaps Porzingis told reporters after the Knicks' practice on Sunday. NY took Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick in the June draft, one spot before the Mavericks selected Smith. "It's the best for our league".

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James, who has always been generally well received by Knicks fans and has two 50-point games at Madison Square Garden on his résumé already, was asked if that vibe could change Monday following his recent comments.

Although James was aware that his statement was going to cause a stir, that did not stop him from saying that the New York Knicks had passed on what could have been a great addition to their rebuilding team. "And I believe the only reason he used that word is because he sees young African-Americans trying to make a difference". "I don't care what people say".

Asked whether he had anything to prove to the rest of the National Basketball Association, he added: "I don't have to prove to them, I have to prove to myself".

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"To be honest with you, they got on and they completely squished me and he was really unaware of his space", Angelo said, adding, "It was first thing in the morning. I have to prove to the team", Ntilikina said.

Through 12 games, Smith, who has started every contest, is averaging 14.8 points, 4.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals.

"I had nothing but respect for him as a coach for what he was able to do", James said at the time.

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