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LeBron James: I “Had” Respect For Phil Jackson

When we passed along some of the highlights from Phil Jackson‘s interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan on Monday, we didn’t include a comment from the Knicks president on LeBron James. Jackson suggested that the reigning NBA Finals MVP “likes special treatment” and “needs things his way” when he discussed LeBron’s 2014 departure from Miami.

“There were a lot of little things that came out of that,” Jackson said. “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 [head coach Erik] Spoelstra has to text [president 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.”

As Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com tweets, James addressed those comments today, telling reporters that he “had nothing but respect” for Jackson as a coach. Asked to clarify his use of the past tense, LeBron confirmed that he no longer has that same level of respect for the Knicks president. The Cavs star also took exception with Jackson’s use of the word “posse” to describe James’ camp.

“To use that label, and if you go and read the definition of what the word ‘posse’ is, it’s not what I’ve built over my career,” James said, per Jordan Heck of The Sporting News (Twitter link). “It’s not what I stand for. It’s not what my family stands for. And I believe the only reason he used that word is because it’s young African-Americans trying to make a difference.”

Maverick Carter, one of LeBron’s business partners, also took exception to Jackson’s comments, according to McMenamin: “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.”

While a conflict with a rival player won’t necessarily have any short-term negative impact on Jackson and the Knicks, it’s not a great look for a team executive who will be trying to recruit players in free agency in the summer. It’s also worth noting that Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is close friends with James, and probably wouldn’t be thrilled to be caught between the two.

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23 thoughts on “LeBron James: I “Had” Respect For Phil Jackson

  1. Louisiana Farmhand

    Lebron is one sucker who can do the slam jam y’all. Legendary shooter. I reckon he’s got that talent and gots a good brain too y’all.

    • Senioreditor

      Your comment is idiotic to say the least.

      • fettichico shiznilty

        He’s just messing around. After a while you’ll start enjoying his comments.

    • TheMichigan

      I’ve never see someone talk like this with reasonable grammar…

  2. 4thlegacy

    so is posse racist now? I always think of Cowboys chasing down cattle rustlers when I hear “posse” not grown black men. Though I’m sure to catch some flack from sjw’s for even questioning it.

  3. Raiders32

    The other meaning of posse that most likely Phil Jackson was referring to. Lebron hopefully you understood that…

    a group of people who have a common characteristic, occupation, or purpose.
    “he pompously led around a posse of medical students”

  4. Thronson5

    This world has gone soft. Everyone get offended over everything and clearly Lebron is one of those guys which I would’ve never imagined him being that way. Jackson clearly didn’t mean it in the way Lebron is taking it but then again most people don’t mean to offend people when they do because like I said everyone is so darn sensitive now a days.

    • ffjsisk

      Exactly.

    • mnsports

      you said this perfectly.

  5. Richard

    It is quite evident LJ was raised without a strong man in his life because he is the epitome of what a weak man is. In addition, he is the poster child for the hypocrisy that is prevalent in the black community. He has never taken to task, Jay Z, Future, Drake, or any of his rapper friends who degrade women and glorify violence in their songs but now when PJ simply states facts LJ is cries like a little girl. Everything now is about race. Finally, he doesn’t realize that he is now bringing PJ’s character in question based on benign comments PJ made in a simple interview. Smh

    • Huge difference between an artistic act and a defined statement. I have no issue with Phil’s comments and think it’s ridiculous too but don’t act as thoug rappers are the only artists to produce music of that morale value.

    • Recordhigh

      So being raised without a “strong man” in his life is LJ’s fault? Do you know for a fact he grew up this way?

      These aren’t rhetorical questions either.
      Expound on something you know as fact.
      YOU are making “everything” about race. YOU brought race into this. Remember that, Dick. I’m sorry… Richard.

  6. Lebron will have to retire early if he keeps letting these tears out. He will become very dehydrated.

    • It sounds like Phil Jackson is the one whose teRy eyed and salty – seems triggered by the fact LeBron never considered NY.

  7. Nobby

    I guess LBJ will need to go to his safe space when he’s around PJ now. LBJ, you wearing your safety pin today?

    • Hilariously small-minded. I guess you visit these articles to trigger yourself? Go back to Breitbart.

  8. ChaplinBaseball

    There’s a lesson learned for Phil Jackson not to make any comments that aren’t related to the team you’re running. But since we are living in an era that if wanting to attract attention, go ahead and make “out of context ” comment that put you on the spotlight of the media outlets…
    Of course, Phil Jackson the grand Zen Master was talking mere basketball related… puff…please.. enginered and crafted comment that puts him on the breaking news so that he could sell some tickets and have some angry loyalists Lebron Supporters going into Madison square garden and boo him for his comments.. but hey.. let everything happen for the sake of profits..

    come on really Phil..
    Please focus on fixing the Knicks and get them to the playoffs..

    • liamsfg

      “Posse” is not racially charged term, nor is it an inappropiate way to refer to a close group of friends or people who are often seen together as a group.

      Lebron is always crying and playing the victim. Just shut the hell up LeBron you’re arrogant and entitled and Phil Jackson is 100% correct about you.

      Grow up and stop pretending to be humble when you win. Because we all know how you act when you lose.. “I’m still the best player in the world.” (As he pouts)

  9. ChiSoxCity

    Instead of responding to the accusation of being a Prima Dona outright, he instead decides to deflect it by changing the discussion to a mere argument over semantics. Just shows how immature and shallow he is.

    • ChiSoxCity

      Just shows how immature and shallow LeBron is.

  10. Souleymane Cissoko

    This not something bigger when we’re in business we are going to hear any kind of stuff some we make not like to hear , some we like to hear ; all this makes us strong enough to face the future challenges .
    It’s not possible for people to say just good about someone if that’s the case run from them because they are not good to you

    • liamsfg

      I agree, this isn’t kindergarten, people are going to have their opinion. LeBron doesn’t have to like Phil Jackson, but by saying he lost respect for him as a coach shiws LeBron doesn’t respect the the establishment of basketball and the NBA’s greats who have come before him.

      • ChiSoxCity

        Millennials are the “me” generation. They’re extremely sensitive, bratty and narcissistic. Maybe someday they’ll learn what leadership is, but for now you have to lower your expectations when dealing with them.

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