LeBron James vs. Phil Jackson: The "Posse" Controversy, Explained

A relapse of what, exactly, happened.

Who is Phil Jackson?

Phil Jackson is a real-life chronicle of a impression Sean Connery would have played in 1998. He’s a produce pointer with sentience and suspenders.

Why is he in a news today?

In an talk with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Jackson common his thoughts on LeBron James’s preference to leave a Miami Heat and lapse to a Cleveland Cavaliers, suggesting that a significant partial of LeBron’s choice was his relations miss of liberty within a Heat’s organization. Basically, LeBron left given he wants to be means to do whatever a fuck he wants to do.

To supplement context to this point, Jackson relayed a story about a Heat visiting a Cavs, and Lebron wanting to stay in Cleveland an additional day.

“You can’t reason adult a whole organisation given we and your mom and your posse wish to spend an additional night in Cleveland.”

Many—including LeBron himself—took offense to Jackson’s use of posse, claiming it’s a racially-coded tenure used to report groups of immature black men. Especially since, in James’s case, a “posse” Jackson referred to are organisation like Maverick Carter and Rich Paul—close friends who also occur to be his business partners.

Hmm. So, is Lebron right here? Is posse a racial/racist dog-whistle, and was Jackson wrong to use that word?

Yes and no. And eh.


Yes. Eh. On a “Zero to Thug” spectrum of difference used to contend “black person” when we can’t only come out and contend “black person,” posse is like a 2.85. There is a bit of a secular inference here—that’s undeniable—but a inference is indeed some-more condescending. Knowing Phil Jackson, this is fundamentally Peak Phil.

That said, would Jackson have described, we don’t know, Steve Ballmer and his organisation of confidantes a same way? we don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. But we do know that it was unnecessarily and intentionally dismissive, that is (some) white people’s default for anything black—black people, black businesses, black publications, black characters on The Walking Dead, etc. Like “Look during those grown black kids over there personification grown up. How cute!

Lebron appears to be supportive to that, and this attraction does not exist in a vacuum.

Part of a reason because we never utterly got into Entourage was that it distinguished and saved a same form of posses and entourages immature black athletes were mostly criticized for possessing. we only couldn’t move myself to guffaw during Vincent Chase’s bro-bonding shenanigans when Allen Iverson’s were customarily and patronizingly shat on.

What’s subsequent for Phil Jackson?

Despite it not being a best fit for today’s space and gait game, and notwithstanding a fact that his horrific, train-wrecked-into-an-orphanage-at-recess coaching tree has left no efficient manager underneath 85 means to run it, he will continue to be so spooky with a Triangle Offense that he would solemnly start to morph into an tangible triangle. At that indicate James Dolan will mistake him for a Dorito and eat him.

Damon Young is a editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas (VSB) and a veteran black person. He can be reached during @verysmartbros or [email protected]

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