LeBron James made headlines yesterday after saying he “lost respect” for New York Knicks team president, Phil Jackson, regarding his comments about James’ “special treatment” and his “posse” of associates in an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan (Nov. 14). When Carmelo Anthony was asked about the rift between the Zen-Master and James, Melo sided with his longtime buddy and fellow 2003 NBA draftee.
LeBron fires back after Phil Jackson uses ‘posse’ to describe LeBron’s business partners. pic.twitter.com/Hpx5OZ1XoR
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) November 15, 2016
“I wouldn’t never want to hear that word about me and I don’t want to say my crew, but people I consider family and people I came up with, been through thick and thin with,’’ Anthony told the New York Post after Tuesday’s practice (Nov. 15). “I would want [them] to be called a tightly knit group or family. Anybody would understand that, I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist or educated person to know what that means to us.”
“I don’t even know how that conversation even came up,” Anthony continued. “I don’t know the conversation or even why Phil was talking about LeBron in the first place. I don’t think we play them anytime soon. It’s a whole month away. I just don’t understand Phil talking about LeBron right now. In November, I don’t understand that.”
— Maverick Carter (@mavcarter) November 14, 2016
James’ business manager and longtime friend, Maverick Carter, took issue with the term, going to Twitter to voice his opinion, and appeared on the Colin Cowherd radio show.
Let me be clear I’m not saying @PhilJackson11 is racist,, I’m calling out his disrespectful language
— Maverick Carter (@mavcarter) November 15, 2016
“I would have had no problem if Phil would have said, ‘You know what, LeBron requires treatment or LeBron and his business partners or LeBron and his friends or LeBron and his agent require things that we don’t like, so we would never take him on the New York Knicks,'” Carter said. “But he knew what he was saying.”
— Clarence Gaines (@ClarenceGaines2) November 15, 2016
Jackson’s only response so far has been retweeting his colleague Clarence Gaines, saying the Posse Foundation is a positive and uplifting organization. It’s clear Jackson should have been more careful when choosing a word with a racially-charged undertone. Then again, why is the Knicks president even talking about James when the Knicks have enough problems of their own.
— Eva Lady (@samsonovevstaf3) November 6, 2016
The Knicks are scheduled for their next showdown with the Cavaliers on Dec. 7.