In a Wednesday interview on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” ESPN “First Take” co-host Stephen A. Smith weighed in on the controversy surrounding New York Knicks President referring to Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James’ inner-circle as “posse.”
Smith admitted Jackson is “as liberal as they come,” but said the legendary coach “knows better” than to call James’ group a “posse” because it will come across as racial to the Cavs star.
“It’s not about the fact that it has a racial overtone,” Smith told host Bill O’Reilly. “It’s about the fact that in certain cases it comes across that way to an African-American like LeBron James who goes out of his way to be recognized as an elite businessman…”
Smith added, “In the case of Phil Jackson, who coached Michael Jordan, never said that, who coached Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, never said that, who’s been around a plethora of African-Americans and are friends with a lot these guys, he kind of knows better than something like that, which is why LeBron James took it that way.”
He went on to argue that Jackson has coached players similar to James and knows what they are sensitive to, thus saying he knew what he was doing when referring to his friends as a “posse.”
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