New York Knicks president Phil Jackson caused an uproar in NBA circles when he (for no specific reason) described LeBron James and his business associates as a "posse." The negative connotations with the word, caused both James and his business partner Maverick Carter to express their disappointment with Jackson and his general old-school way of going about things. And even though Jackson's comments is now weeks old, James has not forgiven him.
With the Cavaliers taking on the Knicks in New York City, James was asked if he would he sit down with the Zen Master if given the opportunity. James quickly dismissed the hypothetical.
From ESPN's Dave McMenamin:
"No," James said flatly after the Cavs' 112-108 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday when asked whether he would entertain a conversation with Jackson when Cleveland plays the Knicks on Wednesday.
When asked to reflect on the discussion that his response to Jackson prompted, James brought up the racial undertones that he believed were part of Jackson's "posse" characterization.
"Didn't affect me, just know how much further we still have to go and how far we still have to go as African-Americans, even in the light of today," James said. "For me, I've built my career on and off the floor on the utmost respect, and I've always given the utmost respect to everyone -- all my peers, people that's laid the path for me and laid the path for coaches, players, things of that nature.
"I've always given respect to them, and it's always, like I told you before, it's always shade thrown on me, so. It means we got a lot more work to do, myself and the team. We've got to continue to protect each other and continue to just be as great as we can be."
Clearly, James' stance on Jackson's "posse" comment hasn't changed. Which is not too surprising, since Jackson hasn't apologized nor has any plans to do so. Plus it took Jackson weeks before actually commenting on his poor choice of words.
Appearing on CBS Sports Network's "We Need To Talk" on Tuesday, Jackson basically downplayed his comment and called it "water under the bridge." But while Jackson may feel like that, James obviously doesn't, which could be a foreboding sign for the Knicks against the Cavs.