The Cavaliers play the Knicks in New York City on Wednesday, which would appear to give LeBron James and Phil Jackson a good opportunity to talk about the comment Jackson made about LeBron's "posse" recently that caused a lot of controversy. However, it doesn't sound like LeBron has any interest in talking with Jackson about it. He was asked if he plans to speak with Jackson sometime before or after the game following the Cavs' win over the Raptors on Monday night and he said, "No."
As you may recall, Jackson irritated LeBron and his business partner Maverick Carter when he answered a question about LeBron's time in Miami during an interview with ESPN in November. "It had to hurt when [the Heat] lost LeBron. That was definitely a slap in the face," Jackson said. "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's comments led to LeBron losing respect for the former NBA coach, who won 11 championships during his run as a sideline general. His thoughts were captured, very concisely, in this exchange with ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin:
In addition to saying that he won't meet with Jackson while speaking with reporters on Monday night, LeBron also expounded on his thoughts on Jackson's "posse" comment. "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," LeBron said, according to ESPN. "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."
LeBron continued by saying that Jackson's comment won't alter his pregame routine on Wednesday night. "My only mindset is to get our guys ready and execute the game plan," he said. "I got a job to do every night and that's to lead this group, and I'll do that."
Even if LeBron doesn't plan on talking to Jackson, we would be surprised if the Knicks team president doesn't at least try and reach out to him during his visit to NYC. Stay tuned to see how it turns out.