Knicks rookie PG Frank Ntilikina and Cavaliers star SF LeBron James got into it at The Garden on Monday.
After throwing down alley-oop dunk, James stood over Ntilikina who was trying to pick up the ball to inbound. Ntilikina didn't like it, and started pushing James off of him.
This riled up both teams as Knicks SG Courtney Lee got in the middle of both players, and C Enes Kanter got in James' face to exchange some words.
Well that didn't take long ... pic.twitter.com/bIruU6NIZL- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 14, 2017
There was beef between James and the Knicks heading into the game. James said the Knicks passed on a great rookie in PG Dennis Smith Jr., and the comments were taken by the Knicks as he has no respect for Ntilikina. At shootaround, the Cavs star made it clear that his comments were pointed at former team president, Phil Jackson, and not Ntilikina.
"For somebody to go in the media and say something about him -- or say it wasn't about him -- I mean, he took it personal," Lee told ESPN's Ian Begley of Ntilikina. "And that's what all competitors do. So, he was fired up and ready to play."
Head coach Jeff Hornacek applauded his 19-year-old point guard to not let James bully him.
"That's good for a young kid to stand up to the best player in the league," he said. "He had his teammates backing him up so that was great."
Despite the double techincal foul that was called for the incident, the Knicks made it known that they will back each other up no matter the opponent.
"It showed the chemistry of the team, our thinking," Ntilikina said. "We'll fight together in all our games. It was good to have them right here and they know I'll be here for them. That's just how we are."
Ntilikina, who heard fans chant his name after the altercation, finished the game with seven points, three rebounds, and a team-high six steals on the night.