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LeBron’s Camp Responds to Phil Jackson’s ‘Posse’ Comments
- Updated: November 15, 2016
LeBron James‘ camp has spoken.
In a recent interview with ESPN.com, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, took an apparent shot at James and his business associates.
Referencing James’ departure from the Miami Heat in the summer of 2014, Jackson was curt in his analysis:
“It had to hurt when they lost LeBron. That was definitely a slap in the face. But there were a lot of little things that came out of that. When LeBron was playing with the Heat, they went to Cleveland and he wanted to spend the night. They don’t do overnights. Teams just don’t. So now (coach Erik) Spoelstra has to text (Pat) Riley and say, ‘What do I do in this situation?’ And Pat, who has iron-fist rules, answers, ‘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.
“I always thought Pat had this really nice vibe with his guys. But something happened there where it broke down. I do know LeBron likes special treatment. He needs things his way.”
“I don’t care that he talks about LeBron,” Carter said. “He could say he’s not that good or the greatest in the world as a basketball player. I wouldn’t care. It’s the word ‘posse’ and the characterization I take offense to. If he would have said LeBron and his agent, LeBron and his business partners or LeBron and his friends, that’s one thing. Yet because you’re young and black, he can use that word. We’re grown men.”
Carter, who has been involved in James’ business ventures since day one, followed up by saying he had a particular problem with Jackson’s choice of words and how it had a derogatory connotation towards young black men.
— Maverick Carter (@mavcarter) November 14, 2016
Let me be clear I'm not saying @PhilJackson11 is racist,, I'm calling out his disrespectful language
— Maverick Carter (@mavcarter) November 15, 2016
In the past several years, James’ business partnership with Carter has resulted in a $1 billion lifetime contract extension with Nike along with tens of millions of dollars in profits after Beats sold to Apple for $3.2 billion.
Carter currently resides in Los Angeles, where he oversees James’ off-court ventures.
This isn’t the first time that Jackson has had something to say about James. Back in June 2015, the former Los Angeles Lakers coach took a direct shot at James and his style of play:
“I watch LeBron James, for example,” he said. “He might [travel] every other time he catches the basketball if he’s off the ball. He catches the ball, moves both his feet. You see it happen all the time,” said Jackson. “There’s no structure, there’s no discipline, there’s no ‘How do we play this game’ type of attitude. And it goes all the way through the game. To the point where now guys don’t screen—they push guys off with their hands.”
Whether Jackson has a personal vendetta against James or is simply acting out as a result of his own team’s continued disarray, it’s clear that Carter and the rest of those in James’ “posse” won’t be afraid to speak up in the future.