TORONTO -- LeBron James says he has no interest in discussing Phil Jackson's "posse" comments directed at the four-time MVP and his business associates should he cross paths with the New York Knicks president when the Cleveland Cavaliers play at Madison Square Garden this week.
When asked to reflect on the discussion that his response to Jackson prompted, James brought up the racial undertones that he believed were part of Jackson's "posse" characterization.
"Didn't affect me, just know how much further we still have to go and how far we still have to go as African-Americans, even in the light of today," James said. "For me, I've built my career on and off the floor on the utmost respect, and I've always given the utmost respect to everyone -- all my peers, people that's laid the path for me and laid the path for coaches, players, things of that nature.
"I've always given respect to them, and it's always, like I told you before, it's always shade thrown on me, so. It means we got a lot more work to do, myself and the team. We've got to continue to protect each other and continue to just be as great as we can be."
James added that the comments wouldn't affect how he approaches the Knicks game.
"No," James said. "My only mindset is to get our guys ready and execute the game plan. I got a job to do every night and that's to lead this group, and I'll do that."
James and business partner Maverick Carter slammed Jackson last month for what they perceived was an intended slight by the 11-time championship coach when he retold a story about James' days with the Miami Heat in an interview with ESPN's Jackie MacMullan.
"It had to hurt when they lost LeBron," Jackson said. "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 [Pat] 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.
"I always thought Pat had this really nice vibe with his guys. But something happened there where it broke down. I do know LeBron likes special treatment. He needs things his way."