INDEPENDENCE, Ohio-- LeBron James and his business partner are responding to comments made by New York Knicks President Phil Jackson.
Jackson, former coach of the Lakers and Bulls, disparaged James and his close-knit group of friends in an interview with ESPN published on Monday when asked about the Miami Heat.
"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."
James' high school friends like Rich Paul and Maverick Carter have went on to have extremely successful careers. The MVP Finals MVP said he wanted to empower this great group of guys.
"I've been in this league 14 years and you know, from the beginning, two years in, I felt like I wanted to put my guys in a position of power and give those guys an opportunity to better themselves," James told reporters on Tuesday.
"In the beginning, we were highly criticized and I was highly criticized about what I wanted to do to help some guys around me become very successful in business. You know, it just sucks that, you know, now at this point having one of the biggest businesses that 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, that the title for young African-Americans is the word posse."
James said it's sad when people on top want to bring other down, adding Jackson's words would give them extra motivation.
"I don't believe Phil Jackson would have used that same term if he was doing business with someone else," James said. "I don't think he would have called them a posse. It just shows how far we have to go, but it won't stop us."
He emphasized he has "zero" relationship with Jackson. The power forward also raised the question if Jackson makes statements like that to the media, what does he say behind closed doors.
"I had nothing but respect for him as a coach for what's he's able to do obviously," James said. "I got nothing for him."
Carter, who is the CEO of LRMR Mangement and runs SpringHill Entertainment with James, took to Twitter to vent his frustrations with the label.