- New York Knicks rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina shoved LeBron James after James wouldn’t get out of his way.
- Enes Kanter ran to the defense of Ntilikina and got in James’ face before the teams were separated.
- James had indirectly criticized Ntilkina earlier when he said the Knicks should have drafted another player.
New York Knicks rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina caused a minor scuffle between the Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers when he didn’t take kindly to some physical play from LeBron James.
James and Ntilikina were at the center of some drama the past two days after James questioned the Knicks’ draft decision. James said the Knicks should have drafted Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who went ninth in the draft. The Knicks took Ntilikina eighth.
In the first quarter of Monday’s game, Ntilikina went to retrieve the ball after a made basket when James ran into him. As Ntilikina picked up the ball, James stood over him. Ntilikina retaliated by pushing James twice. While James didn’t react, Knicks center Enes Kanter ran to the defense of Ntilikina and got in James’ face. James eventually shoved Kanter, and the two sides were separated.
Ntilikina and James were hit with double technicals.
Several Knicks players came to the defense of Ntilikina after James’ comments, none strong than Kanter, who said he couldn’t let James “disrespect” his team.
James responded on Monday, saying he didn’t mean to criticize Ntilikina, though he said he did mean it as a shot at former Knicks president Phil Jackson.