Phil Jackson is kind of unpopular right now. When he’s not busy picking a fight with his team’s most prominent player, the Zen Master is busy repeatedly putting his foot in his own mouth with regards to the whole “LeBron James posse” thing. His comment was originally a bad look, then when he got the chance to make it right during a television appearance, he played dumb and acted like he had no idea what was happening.
Calling out LeBron’s “posse” made a number of people upset, including, apparently, Jay-Z. While introducing LeBron prior to the Cavs star accepting the SI Sportsperson of the Year Award, Hov decided to use his platform to take a subtle shot at Jackson. After highlighting the caliber of person LeBron is and taking his first brief shot at Jackson, Jay dove into how King James has helped those around him – more commonly known in the Jackson household as his “posse” – get professional opportunities. (The full speech can be found here.)
Here’s Jay-Z’s full quote from Monday night:
“He’s a dedicated family man who married his high school sweetheart Savannah. Has three lovely children. He’s the son who honors and worships his mother Gloria. The friend who put his “posse” in position. We do understand where we come from. The only difference between us and someone who has their MBA from Wharton or Sloan or Berkley or Stanford is opportunity. LeBron James has provided his friends with that opportunity and as we’ve witness their development. And if you look up at the scoreboard, very few businessmen are better than Maverick Carter, Rich Paul, Randy Mims and all the rest of the posse behind the scenes that make it look like they’re just sticking out.”
“LeBron James has made all of those around him better on and off the court. We acknowledge and recognize all he has done for the game. But, tonight we say thank you. Not just for your commitment to basketball, but for all you’ve done for the community. And thank you for how you’ve enriched the lives of all those around you. We messed around and got a triple double in real life.”
Jackson has done a poor job endearing himself to just about anyone during this whole ordeal. Add this to his beef with Carmelo Anthony and it’s not a surprise that people aren’t really on his side nowadays. At least the Knicks are winning and Kristaps Porzingis is fun, so at the very least Phil has that going for him right now while he’s drawing the ire of a lot of people.