The New York Knicks are 4-6 and already hearing boos from fans. Everyone expects more from Carmelo Anthony and his new superstar point guard, Derrick Rose, and that includes team president Phil Jackson, who just wants the Knicks to follow his plan (even if they refuse to learn the triangle offense). But not even the Zen Master is safe from the team’s critics, as his championship goals for the Knicks have some people, including Jeff Hornacek, surprised that he’s so hands off, and others giving him sh*t for picking fights with LeBron James over his “special treatment” in Miami. Some people think – GASP! – that Jackson should focus on the team winning games.
But now Jackson’s words have drawn him into a new feud with James’ longtime friend and business partner, Maverick Carter (above, with James), who is upset with this quote from Jackson’s recent interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan:
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.
There are a few things that James and even Pat Riley could be upset with here. But it’s the “posse” reference that has Carter fuming.
Also, Posse is an underrated Mario Van Peeples movie, but that’s another story. Carter later added that he isn’t calling Jackson racist, but instead “calling out his disrespectful language.” You could make the case that Jackson was probably just being casual, if not lazy, with his words and meant no harm, certainly nothing derogatory. But it’s just another bad headline for a guy whose uphill battle is already at a 90-degree angle.
Instead of piling on, though, let’s all enjoy this old photo of Jackson and his bicycle.