Ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers' matchup against the New York Knicks tonight at Madison Square Garden, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Cavs are experiencing life in the Big Apple like average joes. And one of those whose interest was piqued was LeBron James, who recently said Smith was a "diamond in the rough". "I don't even know the kid", James said at the Cavaliers' shootaround before their game against the Knicks.
James told reporters on Saturday night that the Knicks should have selected Smith Jr., a point guard who was chosen ninth overall by the Dallas Mavericks. "We have Frank, and Frank has done a great job for us, his abilities, the way he's grown from day one and the things that he's worked on, we expect him to be a great player also".
"I don't have to prove to them". Jackson drafted the French point guard just before parting ways with the franchise.
Smith has registered 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, compared to Ntilikina's 4.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists, but considering the Knicks' 7-5 record versus the Mavs' 2-12 mark and Ntilikina's superior 104.5 defensive rating (compared to Smith's 113.8), their rookie campaigns are somewhat comparable so far.
Smith bagged 142 points and 49 assists in his first 10 games this season - the third best performance in all of NBA's history for a rookie in his first year. It's all about me and it's all about the team. "I don't care what people say".
"They're both great young players", Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "I have to prove to the team", Ntilikina said.