LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers has fired back at New York Knicks executive Phil Jackson due to the controversial statements he made during a previous interview with ESPN. According to James, he had lost his respect to the coach-turned-executive because of what he said.
The rift between James and Jackson started following the interview the latter had with Jacki MacMullan of ESPN. During their discussion, Jackson was asked on his opinion regarding James's decision to leave the Miami Heat in 2014 to join the Cavaliers.
"It had to hurt when they lost LeBron," Jackson said. "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 [Pat] 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," Jackson added.
He then accused James of preferring special treatment.
After the interview was publicized, James felt offended by some of the things that he said. Aside from his comment regarding special treatment, James and his business partner Maverick Carter didn't like the term "posse" that Jackson used.
"To use that label and 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."
As noted by the Cavs star player, he has lost his respect for Jackson because of what he said.
"I had nothing but respect for him as a coach, for what he was able to obviously at the helm of my favorite player of all time in (Michael Jordan) and also growing up watching the Lakers, but I've got nothing for him," he said.