The NBA erupted in controversy this week when two of its biggest names disagreed over a loaded word. “Posse” is what coaching legend Phil Jackson called LeBron James‘ tight circle of close associates. James responded the characterization is racist and would never be used to describe a white player’s associates. As anyone familiar with Allen Iverson‘s history knows, James’ point is hard to dispute.
When Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy got word of the dispute, he did what everyone should — he looked at himself. And Van Gundy, being a realist, found room for improvement there. Here’s Van Gundy’s admirable reflection on “posse”:
”I’m going to be perfectly honest here, I’ve used that word before. And when that all came out I had to ask myself, have I ever used that word before with a white player, and the answer is no. So, I think, look, you have to be aware of the language and you have to be aware a little bit of your own biases if you’re going to overcome them and so I took that seriously.”