LeBron, Kanter war of words spills onto court

From ESPN - November 13, 2017

NEW YORK -- LeBron James' and Enes Kanter's war of words spilled onto the court in Monday's game between the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers -- and once again, Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina was stuck in the middle of it.

James converted an alley-oop with 40.2 seconds left in the first quarter of Cleveland's 104-101 win over New York to put the Cavs up by one. He immediately crowded Ntilikina, bumping his chest into the point guard while he tried to free himself up to receive the inbounds pass, causing Ntilikina to shove his forearm back into James.

Kanter then intervened and he and James barked at one another before referee Tre Maddox came in to separate the two. James and Kanter were both assessed a technical foul.

Said Kanter of the exchange with James: "He's a rookie. You call yourself King or whatever. But you ca not just mess with a rookie like that. If you are going to mess with (someone) go mess with the grown men. I will die for my teammates. Whatever happens I got my teammates' back because I see this team, this organization, like my family. Nobody is going to mess with it."

"Of course it was tough. We were up by 20-something I think and we gave up 40-something points in the fourth quarter," said Kanter after the game. "I think if you look at it, we fight really hard. We played with a lot of energy. I will tell you one thing this team is really special. You ai not coming to my house and playing that water bottle flip game again.

I do not care who you are. What do you call yourself, King, Queen, Princess, whatever you are. We are going to fight. Nobody out there is going to punk us. We went out there and played our game. We are going to go out there and get better every day."

Over the weekend, James said that the Knicks should have drafted Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. with the No. 8 pick in June's NBA draft instead of Ntilikina.


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