If you missed the drama between Phil Jackson and LeBron James, here’s the long and short of it: Jackson referred to James’ business partners – many of whom are lifelong friends – as James’ ‘posse.’ James, as well as some of his business partners, took offense to this, saying that Jackson’s use of the word ‘posse’ was racially charged.
Bart Scott’s response: You’re kidding, right?
“Man, it must be a slow news week if we’re talking about Phil Jackson saying the word ‘posse,’” the NFL analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “He would have sounded like a complete cornball if he would have said ‘LeBron and his friends.’ That just sounds whack. So you got to come up with something, so as a white man, what if he would have said ‘LeBron and his boys?’ (People would have said), ‘Oh, my God, a white man said boys!’”
So if Jackson saying ‘posse’ is no big deal, why is James so upset?
“Because he’s sensitive right now,” Scott said. “I think his business manager took offense to it, so it made LeBron take offense. Listen, man, right now, if we were having a racial draft, Phil Jackson would go like in the 10th round. Phil’s one of us, man. Leave Phil the hell alone. . . . (James’) first reign in Cleveland, he wanted (his friends) to have all type of access and that was a problem. So he’s sensitive about that.”
Jackson, to be fair, probably didn’t mean to come across as racially insensitive, and as DA pointed out, sometimes white people simply don’t know that certain words are racially coded.
“I’m here to tell you that word (‘posse’) isn’t coded,” Scott said. “I’ve got my Negro Handbook, and that’s not in it. It’s like words to beat white people up on site, and that’s not in there. Posse is not one of them. ‘Colored,’ the N-word, ‘coon’ – stuff like that, that’s like punch on site. ‘Posse,’ we’re cool with ‘posse.’ Especially if you’re over 60, you can say ‘posse’ – because that was cool back in the day.”