LeBron James says he ‘had’ – past tense – respect for Phil Jackson
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:
LeBron on Phil Jackson: "I had nothing but respect for him as a coach ..."— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 15, 2016
Q: "Had respect?"
Q: "Until now?"
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.