You probably saw LeBron go in on Phil Jackson.
If not, LeBron was furious that Philip characterized his business associates as his “posse” in an interview with ESPN. And says he no longer has any respect at all for Philip.
Quote: “I had nothing but respect for him as a coach for what he was able to do. Obviously he was at the helm of my favorite player of all time and also being there growing up and watching him with the Lakers, but I got nothing for him.”
To provide some context… the reference in question came up when Philip was asked about LeBron leaving Pat Riley and Miami. He was asked could he ever imagine Earvin Johnson leaving Pat Riley or Michael Jordan leaving him? To which Phil responded: “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.”
LeBron wasn’t having any of that. He was furious. Genuinely irritated by this old kook not only being so dismissive of he and his business partners, but to characterize them with a loaded term like, ‘posse’.
He said: “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. 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.”
LeBron’s main contention here is that he and his team have come way too far to be labeled a “posse.”
“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.’”
I can see where LeBron is coming from here. Posse, in this sense, is a loaded term. It’s disrespectful and demeaning.
I mean, how often is the used to describe a group of white guys or white businessman? If Jackson had just gone with business associates, or partners, or management team, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And LeBron made that point, too.
And by the way, how ridiculous is it that Phil is rambling on about anything involving someone else’s team. Rambling on about something that has absolutely nothing to do with him. Telling a story about a team, the Miami Heat, and three people, LeBron, Erik Spoelstra, and Pat Riley. Like, hey, I know Riley was a great coach and a far more successful exec than I was, but remember when he lost LeBron?
Instead of telling stories about LeBron and Riley, maybe you should be telling a story about why your team is 4-6. Or better yet, just stop talking period.
Ol Philip needs to just stop talking and worry about his own team. Because everything is going terribly for him. And his rep has taken a pounding since he got there.
Keep Riley and LeBron’s name out your mouth, do your job and try earning some of that crazy jack you’re stealing from the Knicks.