LeBron James has responded to remarks by New York Knicks President Phil Jackson who referred to his inner circle of friends, agents and businessmen as a “posse.”
LeBron James has been called everything from a king to crybaby in his 14-year career. But he has taken special exception to words that Phil Jackson has used to describe him and his business partners.
In interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Jackson spoke on a wide range of things going on in the NBA including the insane amounts of money free agents signed for during the offseason as well as the status of the team he is currently in charge of.
But when the discussion veered into how the Miami Heat have handled the departures of both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade over the past two season he talked a little too loosely for LeBron’s liking.
Peep the transcript below, per Yahoo! Sports:
JM: You, [Gregg] Popovich and Pat Riley are the most decorated coaches of your generation. What separates Riley?
PJ: Pat has a terrific sense of what he wants to do. Now that I’m president, I have to read all this stuff about the league. Usually it’s ‘delete, delete, delete.’ But I noticed there was something about D-Wade and Pat’s communication breaking down the other day. I wondered about that. I found it surprising.
JM: It all started when LeBron left, right? Could you have ever imagined Earvin Johnson leaving Riley, or Michael Jordan leaving you?
PJ: 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.
I always thought Pat had this really nice vibe with his guys. But something happened there where it broke down. I do know LeBron likes special treatment. He needs things his way.
To some, using the word “posse” may not be a big deal. But James and his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter took exception and called it coded language.
Yes, he quoted Jay Z’s “Grammy Family” freestyle there.