LeBron James doesn’t want apology from Phil Jackson over ‘posse’ talk
LeBron James made it clear he doesn’t want an apology from Phil Jackson for referring to his business associates as his “posse,” despite stating he has lost respect for the New York Knicks president.
“For what? He don’t owe (anything). I don’t know that man,” James told Cleveland.com after the Cavaliers’ 121-117 victory on Tuesday night over the Toronto Raptors.
The controversy started when Jackson, for some reason discussing James’ exodus from Miami during a recent interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, characterized those in James’ inner circle as a “posse” in relation to James’ desire to stay overnight in Cleveland after a game.
The comments regarding “posse” in drew immediate condemnation, first from James business associate Maverick Carter on Twitter.
James then weighed in at length himself on the situation on Tuesday, saying in part that he believes Jackson’s use of “posse” may have been racially motivated.
Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony was put in the awkward position of having to react to Jackson’s comments. In essence, Anthony didn’t appreciate Jackson’s commentary, but did leave open the possibility that the Knicks boss didn’t understand the full extent of how his words could be interpreted.
Interestingly, the swirling controversy has shined a light at unflattering criticism Jackson has levied upon James in the past.
ESPN’s daily NBA show “The Jump,” unearthed something Jackson wrote in his 2004 book “The Last Season,” in which he speaks of a young James as follows:
Here’s what we were just talking about on #TheJump – the excerpt from Phil Jackson’s book “The Last Season.” (Book is about the 2004 Lakers) pic.twitter.com/urL1JWim97
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) November 15, 2016
James apparently wasn’t aware of the Jackson’s “posse” comment in the 2004 book until Tuesday afternoon, but said at the Cavs’ shootaround Tuesday that he believes “the only reason he used that word is because he sees young African-Americans trying to make a difference.”
Reports indicate James nor James Jones, the Cavs’ representative to the players’ union, have asked for the NBA to initiate any kind of action against Jackson for his most recent comments.