Jay-Z has 99 problems, and apparently Phil Jackson is one.
In mid-November, New York Knicks President Phil Jackson referred to LeBron James’ friends as his “posse.” Jackson described the disciplinary issues that LeBron and his friends presented Heat President Pat Riley when LeBron played in Miami, and the comments led to an angry reaction from James, and his friend and business partner Maverick Carter. The duo accused Jackson of using the word “posse,” solely because they’re black.
While introducing LeBron at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year awards ceremony on Monday night, rapper Jay-Z attempted a swipe at Jackson. According to ESPN, “Jay Z described James as “the son who honors and worships his mother, Gloria. The friend who put his posse in position.” The crowd laughed when the rapper referenced the term.
Jay-Z continued, “We know where we come from. We do understand where we come from. The only difference between us and someone who has their MBA from Wharton or Sloan or Berkeley or Stanford is opportunity. LeBron James has provided his friends with that opportunity, and we’ve witnessed their development.
“And if we’re to 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 hanging out.”
LeBron provides his friends with money, and a golden net to catch them when they make bad business deals. Having the good fortune of growing up with and becoming best friends with the most popular American athlete, and one of the richest athletes in the world, is not merely an “opportunity,” but instead what LeBron’s buddies on the left might describe as “winning life’s lottery.”
More to the point, it’s quite ironic that Jay-Z would get so riled up about terms like “posse,” which might seem derogatory or demeaning. But, read some of the terms that Jay-Z used in his hit “Big Pimpin,’” which helped give him the “opportunity” to become one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world:
You know I – thug em, f*ck em, love em, leave em
Cause I don’t f*ckin need em
Take em out the hood, keep em lookin good
But I don’t f*ckin feed em
First time they fuss I’m breezin
Talkin bout, “What’s the reasons?”
I’m a pimp in every sense of the word, b*tch
Better trust than believe em
In the cut where I keep em
til I need a nut, til I need to beat the guts
Then it’s, beep beep and I’m pickin em up
Let em play with the d*ck in the truck
But please, tell me more about this word “posse.”
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn