While answering questions on social media Monday afternoon, Knicks forward Enes Kanter had a message for the Cleveland Cavaliers' Lebron James:
"You really want to be King of New York? Come and prove it."
Kanter's "invite" is the latest in a back-and-forth between he and James, which started in November and last had an update in April, when James wore a pair of Nike LeBron 15s with the words "I'm King" on the heels during a Cavaliers-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
In November, after the Cavaliers rallied down 23 points to beat the Knicks 104-101 at Madison Square Garden, James declared himself "King of New York" with an Instagram photo of him standing at the logo at midcourt.
Kanter fired back by saying, "We already have a king. It's Kristaps Porzingis."
James was involved in a scuffle that night with Kanter and Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina after James said the Knicks made a mistake by not drafting Dennis Smith Jr., whom the Mavericks drafted one pick after New York selected Ntilikina. Kanter defended Ntilikina during and after that game, telling reporters, "I don't care who you are, what you call yourself, King, Queen, Princess, whatever you are. You know what, we gonna fight and nobody out there gonna punk us."
James and Ntilikina have cleared the air, and James said his comments regarding Ntilikina and Smith were more of a reflection of former Knicks president Phil Jackson.
James hasn't said anything negative directed about the Knicks; in fact, he commended their hire of David Fizdale, under whom James played when the two of them were with the Miami Heat.
According to the New York Post's Marc Berman, the Knicks are considering a plan to clear cap space to make room for James when he becomes a free agent. That plan, according to Berman, would include Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn opting out of their contracts, plus another potential trade. Kanter has indicated it is a real possibility he could opt out this summer, but has also expressed his interest in remaining with the Knicks.
Free agency begins July 1.