James made waves Saturday when he said the Knicks “passed on a really good one” in this year’s draft by selecting Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick ahead of Smith, who went No. 9 overall to Dallas.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star clarified those remarks Monday, saying he was not “throwing shade at Frank at all, for people that got their pants in bunches.”
James confirmed that his comments were directed toward Jackson, who parted ways with the Knicks this past June.
“Oh yeah, it’s definitely a shot at him,” James said. “That’s for sure.”
James publicly called out Jackson last year after the Hall of Fame coach referred to the four-time league MVP’s business associates as a “posse” in an interview with ESPN.
James acknowledged Monday that he is “not a fan” of Jackson but said he has “no problem with the Knicks.”
“Phil was just a small piece [of the Knicks’ recent struggles],” James said. “Well he was a big piece of it, actually. I don’t have no problem with the Knicks organization. I wasn’t here so I don’t know the insights and everything. … Y’all know how they handled the Carmelo situation, but I’m not a fan of Phil Jackson, though. I think you guys already know that. Let’s not — that’s the past, though. He’s not even here anymore.”