lebron james-madison square garden-new york knicks

Whenever you begin to doubt LeBron James’ dominance of his NBA kingdom, he reminds you who rules the league.

Monday night’s Knicks-Cavaliers game was always going to be fraught, given LeBron’s recent comments about New York having made a mistake in drafting Frank Ntilikina over Dennis Smith Jr. (in what was likely intended as a shot at former team president Phil Jackson). But the intensity ratcheted up quickly when Ntilikina twice shoved LeBron, who then wound up face to face with an angry Enes Kanter.

Although that confrontation seemed to energize the Knicks and their fans, LeBron eventually got the last laugh. Cleveland outscored New York 43-25 in the fourth quarter, James hit a gutsy go-ahead three-pointer in Kristaps Porzingis’ face and the Cavs walked away with a 104-101 win. LeBron finished with 23 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

LeBron must have woken up Tuesday feeling good about himself because he posted to Instagram a photo of himself at center-court of Madison Square Garden with a caption that called himself  “👑of NY.”

You’re welcome.. 👑of NY #myfavoriteplayground #striveforgreatness🚀

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

The Knicks gave LeBron all they had Monday night, and LeBron basically laughed, got buckets and gloated about it afterward. The Knicks have gotten a lot of (perhaps undeserved) hype this season, but the King reminded us all that the team from New York is still part of his kingdom.

From the Knicks’ perspective, however, there is one bright side to LeBron’s self-proclaimed coronation as kind of New York: They can dream feverishly about signing there next summer.

The NBA season is long, and with so little drama surrounding the title favorite, there’s nothing like a feud involving the league’s biggest name to keep us engaged. Unfortunately, the Cavs and Knicks don’t play again until a home-and-home the last week of the season. Still, we’re already excited to see it.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.