LeBron James Not Happy About Phil’s “Posse” Comment, Neither Is Carmelo
In a Q&A published Monday on ESPN.com, New York Knicks owner Phil Jackson spoke about LeBron James’ departure from the Miami Heat and the three-time champion’s relationship with Heat president Pat Riley:
“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 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.”
A day after the interview, James said he lost all respect for Jackson. Specifically, James took offense to Jackson using the word “posse” to describe his friends and associates. Jackson also told ESPN that James “likes special treatment.”
Carmelo’s Two Cents
Knicks forward and longtime friend of LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, naturally seemed fed up.
“There’s different words that different people use in different ways. To some people, the word ‘posse’ might not mean anything. It might just be a word. To some other people, it could be a derogatory statement. It all depends on who you mention it to, who you’re talking about,” Anthony said. “In this sense, he was talking about five black men. And do I think he meant it in any kind of way? I really don’t know. I don’t think he did. I would hope that he didn’t. Sometimes Phil just say things, and he say the first thing that come to mind. And he’s probably in his office right now regretting it.
“When it comes to Phil, you just never know what’s going to be said, what’s coming out. It depends on who’s listening. People take it the right way or people take it the wrong way. You just never know when it comes to Phil. I just don’t understand him talking about LeBron right now in November. I don’t understand that.”
Do I believe Phil Jackson is a racist? Absolutely not. Do I believe Phil is out of touch with communicating with today’s athletes? Yes, I do. Time will tell if Phil will offer an apology. In the meantime, stay tuned.
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