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LeBron James says he ‘had’ – past tense – respect for Phil Jackson

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in action against the New York Knicks on October 25, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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LeBron James was reportedly open to considering the Knicks in 2014 free agency because they hired Phil Jackson.

It’s hard to see LeBron working with Jackson now.

LeBron’s manager Maverick Carter chastised Jackson for describing LeBron’s friends and business partners as his “posse.” Unsurprisingly, LeBron has Carter’s back.

The surprise is the degree to which he sided against Jackson.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:


Jackson’s comments clearly cut deeper than run-of-the-mill criticism. Remember, Jackson once said LeBron travels half the time he has the ball. This went beyond basketball, and I don’t blame LeBron for being bothered by Jackson’s characterization (including how Jackson went out of his way to denigrate LeBron for requiring “special treatment”).

These grudges can and usually do dissipate. LeBron plays for Dan Gilbert’s Cavaliers, after all.

But, right now, Jackson – already facing deserved scrutiny in New York – finds himself at odds with the most powerful player in the world.