LeBron James is still in a New York state of mind, and the King isnt ready to relinquish his crown, either.
After his pregame back-and-forth with Knicks center Enes Kanter materialized in a heated exchange at the Garden during the Cavs comeback win Monday, James added to the drama in an Instagram post Tuesday morning.
Youre welcome..(king) of NY #myfavoriteplayground #striveforgreatness, he wrote, along with a picture of himself center court at MSG.
Kanter rushed to the defense of Knicks rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina before, during and after the 104-101 loss.
James began the round of barbs when he said over the weekend that the Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr. over Ntilikina in the first round.
The four-time MVP later clarified that his criticism was aimed at ousted Knicks president Phil Jackson and not Ntilikina, but Kanter said he was pissed nonetheless.
Late in Mondays first quarter, Ntilikina and James came together after James dunked the ball and stood over the rookie as Ntilikina tried to collect it to start an inbounds play. Ntilikina pushed James several times in the chest before Kanter jumped in and began barking at the Cleveland star.
After the Knicks blew a 23-point lead in the second half, Kanter further turned up the heat in the locker room.
You aint coming to my house and playing that water bottle-flip game again, Kanter said, referencing James and his teammates playfully flipping water bottles on the sideline during their previous game at the Garden. I dont care what you call yourself: King, Queen, Princess, were gonna fight. Nobody out there is going to punk us.
To which James answered: Well, Im the king, my wife is the queen and my daughter is the princess. So we got all three covered.
With 23 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds Monday, James looked as if he had all of New York covered as well.