New York Knicks: Enes Kanter Responds To LeBron James
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Enes Kanter responded to LeBron James questioning the New York Knicks selecting Frank Ntilikina ahead of Dennis Smith Jr.

The defense and playmaking of rookie Frank Ntilikina are a big reason for the surprising early success of the New York Knicks. The rookie is averaging 9.1 assists and 2.7 steals per 36 minutes. His teammates — in this case Enes Kanter — have his back as well.

Kanter was responding to LeBron James; who pondered Saturday why the Knicks didn’t select Mavs point guard Dennis Smith Jr. in the 2017 draft. New York passed on the NC State product for Ntilikina.

Kanter should be happy with what he’s got with Frank. The youngster has exceeded all expectations. He was thought to be at least a year away from contributing but instead, he’s playing crunch time minutes.

There’s more to James’ comments than just basketball. Phil Jackson passed on Smith because Frank was viewed as a triangle point guard. Apparently, James isn’t ready to let his feud with the Zen Master go quite yet.

James and the Cavs visit Madison Square Garden on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. There will be even more hype surrounding his visit now than there usually is.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.