The NBA’s best player is still calling out one of the greatest coaches in league history. That’s what LeBron James claims he did when he criticized the New York Knicks for passing over guard Dennis Smith in June’s draft.

After the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Smith and the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night, James noted that Smith “should be a Knick.” Instead of calling out Frank Ntilikina, who New York took with the No.8 overall selection, the three-time champion said he was taking a shot at former Knicks’ president Phil Jackson.

“It was definitely a shot at (Phil), that's for sure,” James said, via The New York Daily News, ahead of Cleveland’s game with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden Monday night.

Smith scored 21 points and dished out seven assists in the loss against Cleveland. Ntilikina put up two points, five assists and two steals Saturday night in New York’s blowout victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Center Enes Kanter was vocal in his support for Ntilikina. James insisted he didn’t intend for his comments to be a slight against the 19-year-old rookie.

“I wasn't throwing shade at Frank at all. For people that got their pants in bunches and things of that nature here in New York, looking for any controversy,” James said on Monday. “I was basically stating what I saw in Dennis Smith and what I saw from him coming out and watching the draft. I thought that he would be a great fit here with (Kristaps) Porzingis.

“And that's not saying that Frank won't be a great fit. … It's not you (crapping) on the next guy. It's just that you're stating what you see. It's all that is, for clarification of it for people who just live in a box and for Enes Kanter, who always got something to say.”

Jackson left the Knicks’ organization nearly five months ago when New York decided to part ways with the once legendary head coach. After three losing seasons under Jackson, the Knicks have gotten off to one of their best starts in recent years, winning seven of their first 12 games.

The rift between Jackson and James made headlines a year ago when the Knicks’ then-president referred to James' business associates as his “posse.” James said he had no respect for Jackson when asked about the comments last season.

Now, it appears that James is seeking out opportunities to call out Jackson, even when it might not seem warranted.

“When I was watching the draft I thought they was gonna pick (Smith). I talked about it with people that know the game. I know what Dennis Smith is capable of doing, and I knew the Knicks were looking for, have been looking for a point guard. Am I stating things that's false? This is facts, right? I thought they would pick him and they didn't. Like I said, it's no shade at Frank. I don't even know the kid. I wasn't even thinking about the kid when I was talking about Dennis Smith. I was thinking about just the Knicks' organization and Phil Jackson at the time, and Dennis Smith's talent, and Porzingis. That's all I was thinking about.”

There was plenty of confusion when the Knicks let Jackson go less than a week after they drafted Ntilikina. The point guard was supposedly taken because he was a perfect fit for the triangle, the offensive system that New York would abandon with Jackson no longer a part of the organization.

The No.9 overall pick out of NC State, Smith ranks third in scoring and fifth in assists among all rookies. Ntilikina is averaging 10.4 fewer points per game than Smith, though he averages more assists and steals. Ntilikina has a plus-12.9 net rating, and he was the youngest player drafted in the first round.

"Nah, I don't,” James said, when asked if he had a problem with the Knicks’ organization. “Phil was just a small piece of it. Well, he was a big piece of it, actually. But I don't have no problem with the Knicks’ organization. I wasn't here. I don't know the insights and everything.”

LeBron James Knicks LeBron James said Phil Jackson and the Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith, not Frank Ntilikina. Pictured: Tim Hardaway puts pressure on James at Quicken Loans Arena on Oct. 29, 2017 in Cleveland. Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images