LeBron James and his 'posse' have lost respect for Phil Jackson
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James says he's lost respect for New York Knicks president Phil Jackson a day after Jackson referred to his business partners and associates as his "posse."
"But it just shows how far we have to go. We're not gonna let Phil Jackson's comments stop us from doing what we need to do," James said to reporters. "It just sucks that now at this point having one of the biggest businesses you can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter, that's done so many great business [deals], that the title for young African-Americans is the word 'posse.'"
During an interview with ESPN.com Jackson talked about James leaving the Miami Heat to come back to Cleveland in 2014 calling it a "slap in the face."
Jackson told Jackie MacMullan that James' leaving had to hurt. According to ESPN.com Jackson said while in Miami, whenever the Heat played the Cavs, James would want to spend the night in Cleveland even though they [Miami Heat] didn't do overnights. Jackson was quoted as saying during one incident Heat Coach Spoelstra texted Pat Riley and asked what he should do.
According to Jackson, Riley responded, "You are on the plane. You are with this team."
"You can't hold up the whole team because you and your mom and your posse want to spend an extra night in Cleveland," Jackson told MacMullan in the interview.
James' business partner Maverick Carter was the first to respond by tweeting Monday night a screenshot with the definition of posse.
A few minutes later he followed that tweet with another one.
James said he has nothing but respect for Phil Jackson, as far as when he's done for the game of basketball, and he has no ties to him whatsoever.
"No relationship at all. I had nothing but respect for him as a coach for what he was able to do -- but I got nothing for him," James said. "I believe the only reason he used that word is because it's young African-Americans trying to make a difference."
"I've been in the league for 14 years and from the beginning two years in, I felt like I wanted to put my guys in positions of power, give those guys an opportunity to better themselves," James said. "You know, in the beginning, we were highly criticized and I was highly criticized about what I wanted to do to help some guys around me become very successful in business. I've tried to put my guys in position to where they can walk in a meeting and go places and they don't need me because they got to a point where they've done their homework, they've studied on what they want to do and they can hold a meeting without me because of the respect that they have and the knowledge they have. That's just 12 years of hard work and dedication that we put to each other. I know Phil's in a position of power in our sport, but to criticize me and my guys over that is nonsense. But whatever. It's going to be a story and that's cool."
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