LeBron James is loved and hated by plenty of people around the world and while normally James keeps his head low when firing back at comments made about him, that’s not the case this time with 11-time coaching champion and current New York Knicks president Phil Jackson.
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In a interview with ESPN, Jackson, 71, said James has always demanded preferential treatment and called his departure from Miami as a free agent a “slap in the face” to the Heat organization. Plus, he recalled a time when James asked for the team to stay over in Cleveland while on a road trip.
“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.” Jackson said in the ESPN interview.”
“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.”
Since those comments came out, according to ESPN, James responded with his own statement on Tuesday.
“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. “It’s not what I stand for, it’s not what my family stands for. I believe the only reason he used that word is because he sees young African-Americans trying to make a difference.”
“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.'”
James went on to make clarify that he has no previous ties to Jackson.
“Zero,” James said Tuesday, when asked if he had any previous ties to Jackson. “No relationship at all. I had nothing but respect for him as a coach for what he was able to do. Obviously he was at the helm of [the team featuring] my favorite player of all time [Michael Jordan], and also being there growing up and watching him with the Lakers, but I got nothing for him.”
SOURCE: ESPN | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty