If Phil Jackson’s use of the word “posse” offended LeBron James, then the Cavs star definitely shouldn’t pick up one of the Zen Master’s books.
The Knicks president recently decribed LeBron’s group of friends and associates as a “posse,” causing the three-time NBA champion to admit Tuesday he’s lost all respect for the executive, whom he said he has “zero” relationship with.
However, this isn’t the first time Jackson’s made this reference. He used the same terminology while discussing James in his 2004 book “The Last Season.”
“In the Cleveland game, I was impressed with LeBron James, who has made strides since we played the Cavs during the exhibition season,” Jackson wrote. “Yet as talented as this kid definitely appears to be, I don’t believe he or any nineteen-year-old should be playing in the NBA. These young men grow so dependent on their posses, who fetch their cars and their girls, that they can’t possibly develop into mature self-sufficient human beings. One day, I’m convinced, we’ll find out the true extent of the psychological damage that’s being caused.”
On Monday, James’ business associate Maverick Carter described the racial undertones of Jackson’s comments to ESPN.
“It’s the word ‘posse’ and the characterization I take offense to,” Carter said. “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.”
James added Tuesday: “It just sucks that now at this point 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.'”
Cavaliers star LeBron James says he’s lost respect for Phil Jackson.
Even Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who is friends with James, was critical of Jackson after Knicks practice on Tuesday. Anthony said he’d never want to hear that word used to describe the people he considers family.
“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.”
Anthony said “anybody” would understand how the word can be offensive to African-Americans.
“I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist or an educated person to understand what that means to us,” he said.
Jackon has yet to comment.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News