Carmelo Anthony Sides With LeBron James & Maverick Carter After Phil Jackson Calls Them a Posse

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson ruffled some feathers when he referred to LeBron James’ friends and business partners as a “posse.”  James’ childhood friends aren’t leeches, Maverick Carter has helped broker LeBron’s billion-dollar lifetime deal with Nike, launched his multimedia company “Uninterrupted,” cultivated his production company “SpringHill Entertainment,” and much more; James’ friend Rich Paul is a major agent to players like John Wall, Ben Simmons, LeBron himself, and more.  So naturally the guys took offense when Jackson referred to them as a posse, considering the racial undertones.  As the star of the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony works closely with Jackson, but he’s also really good friends with LeBron, whom he formed “The Brotherhood” with along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul.  Anthony sided with LeBron, citing that although Jackson might not have meant any harm by the word, it still shouldn’t have been said.

Here’s the excerpt that started it all.  Jackson did an interview with Jackie MacMullan for, and was revisiting James’ departure from the Miami Heat and what it meant for Heat president Pat Riley.

JM: It all started when LeBron left, right? Could you have ever imagined Earvin Johnson leaving Riley, or Michael Jordan leaving you?

PJ: 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.

LeBron talked about the position he put his friends in and the racial issues that still follow them.  He said he lost respect for Jackson.

“I’ve been in this league 14 years and from the beginning, two years in, I felt like that I wanted to put my guys in a position of power and give those guys an opportunity to better themselves. And you know, in the beginning we were highly criticized and I was highly criticized about what I wanted to do to help some guys around me become very successful in business. And, you know, it just sucks that now at this point, having one of the biggest businesses that you can have both on and off the floor, having a certified in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter that has done so many great businesses, that the title for young African-Americans is the word “posse.” So, for me, we see the success that we had, but then there’s always someone that lets you know how far we still have to go as African-Americans.”

“To use that label, and if you go and read the definition of that the word ‘posse’ is, it’s not what I’ve built over my career,” James said, according to The Sporting News. “It’s not what my family stands for. And I believe the only reason he used that word is because it’s young African-Americans trying to make a difference.”

Maverick Carter responded as well about his issues with the word.

“I don’t care that he talks about LeBron,” Maverick Carter told “He could say he’s not that good or the greatest in the world as a basketball player. I wouldn’t care. It’s the word ‘posse’ and the characterization I take offense to. If he would have said LeBron and his agent, LeBron and his business partners or LeBron and his friends, that’s one thing. Yet because you’re young and black, he can use that word. We’re grown men.”

Carmelo Anthony agreed with them and said he didn’t know why Jackson was talking about LeBron in the first place.

“When it comes to Phil, you just never know what’s going to be said, what’s coming out. It depends on who’s listening. People take it the right way or people take it the wrong way. You just never know when it comes to Phil. I just don’t understand him talking about LeBron right now in November. I don’t understand that.”

“I would never want to hear that word about people I consider family and people that I’ve come up with and been through thick and thin with,” Anthony said via the New York Daily News. “I would want to be called a tight-knit group or a family, because that’s what I consider those people.”

“I know him personally,” Anthony said of James. “I know him very well. So for him to say that, whatever he said, whether he lost respect for somebody or not, he really means that. I know him. I don’t think he would just say something. Whatever was said, I’m pretty sure it hit home and he responded to it.”