James and his business associates were offended by the Zen Master’s characterization of their relationship.
LeBron on Phil Jackson: “I had nothing but respect for him as a coach …”
Q: “Had respect?”
Q: “Until now?”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 15, 2016
LeBron says Jackson’s words demean all of the hard work his group has put in to be considered respectable business people.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
“I had nothing but respect for him as a coach, for what he was able to do obviously at the helm of my favorite player of all-time in MJ (Michael Jordan) and also growing up watching the Lakers,” James said. “But I’ve got nothing for him.” […] “If he says it out to the media,” James said of Jackson, “you can only imagine what he says when the camera is not on him. Just got a lot more work to do.”
“We see the success that we have but then there is always someone that lets you know how far we still have to go as African-Americans,” James said. “I don’t believe that Phil Jackson would have used that term if he was doing business with someone else and working with another team or if he was working with anybody in sports that was owning a team that wasn’t African-American and had a group of guys around them that didn’t agree with what they did. I don’t think he would have called them a posse. But it just shows how far we have to go. But it won’t stop us from doing what we need to do as a group.”
“I’ve tried to put my guys in position to where they can walk in a meeting and go places and they don’t need me because they got to a point where they’ve done their homework, they’ve studied on what they want to do and they can hold a meeting without me because of the respect that they have and the knowledge they have,” James said. “That’s just 12 years of hard work and dedication that we put to each other. I know Phil’s in a position of power in our sport, but to criticize me and my guys over that is nonsense.”
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