offense on a short field. If you

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James says he has lost all respect for Phil Jackson after the New York Knicks president characterized James business associates as a posse in a recent interview with ESPN.Zero, James said Tuesday, when asked if he had any previous ties to Jackson. No relationship at all. I had nothing but respect for him as a coach for what he was able to do. Obviously he was at the helm of [the team featuring] my favorite player of all time [Michael Jordan], and also being there growing up and watching him with the Lakers, but I got nothing for him.Jackson, in an interview with ESPNs Jackie MacMullan published this week, made the statement while revisiting James departure from the Miami Heat to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2014 and what it meant for the tenure of Heat president Pat Riley.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 dont do overnights. Teams just dont. So now [coach Erik] Spoelstra has to text 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 cant 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.James business associate Maverick Carter took issue with Jacksons statement, telling ESPN on Monday that he felt compelled to respond, citing the recent debate around coded language.Its the word posse and the characterization I take offense to, Carter said. If he would have said LeBron and his agent, LeBron and his business partners or LeBron and his friends, thats one thing. Yet because youre young and black, he can use that word. Were grown men.James elaborated on the subject Tuesday morning.Ive been in the league for 14 years and from the beginning two years in, I felt like I wanted to put my guys in positions of power, give those guys an opportunity to better themselves, James said. You know, in the beginning we were highly criticized and I was highly criticized about what I wanted to do to help some guys around me become very successful in business.It just sucks that now at this point having one of the biggest businesses you can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter thats done so many great business [deals], that the title for young African-Americans is the word posse.Carter oversees the entertainment aspects of James off-court interests; Paul represents James as his agent and runs the Klutch Sports Group, which counts many other NBA players as clients; and Randy Mims is the executive administrator of player programs and logistics for the Cavs.We see the success that we have, but then there is always someone that lets you know still how far we still have to go as African-Americans, James said.But it wont stop us from doing what we need to do as a group, he added. Were not going to let Phil Jacksons comments stop us from doing what we need to do. It just gives us extra motivation. But its still sad.James said he didnt think Jackson would use the term posse to describe a powerful sports figure who isnt African-American.If you go and read the definition of what the word posse is, its not what Ive built over my career, James said. Its not what I stand for, its not what my family stands for. I believe the only reason he used that word is because he sees young African-Americans trying to make a difference.Jackson hasnt responded directly to James or Carters comments, but on Tuesday he did retweet a post from?Knicks Vice President of Player Personnel Clarence Gaines Jr. about the Posse Foundation, a college access and youth leadership development program.In the same interview with MacMullan, Jackson said he regularly meets with Knicks star Carmelo Anthony to strengthen their relationship as executive and player.Anthony, one of James closest friends in the league, also addressed the issue Tuesday.I know [James] and I dont think he would just say something to be saying it, Anthony said. Whatever was said, Im pretty sure it hit home and he responded to it. I dont know exactly what was said.Anthony said he doesnt think Jackson meant to use the word posse in a racial connotation, but he also didnt want to speak on Jacksons behalf.James and the Cavs play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 7, in what now figures to be an even more highly anticipated matchup.Its not surprising, James said. If [Jackson] says it out to the media, you can only imagine what he says when the camera is not on him or the headset or whatever you guys record on. Just got a lot more work to do.James was asked if there was any correlation between Donald Trump winning the presidential election and Jacksons sentiments.I dont know, James said. It could be a reach. But at the same time ... it could not be a reach. You dont know what the direct correlation is, but I know how hard I work, I know how much I sacrifice, I know I show up to work every single day and I know I put my team and every franchise Ive been on -- from the Heat to here -- before me because Ive only cared about one thing. And thats winning.Ive tried to put my guys in position to where they can walk in a meeting and go places and they dont need me because they got to a point where theyve done their homework, theyve studied on what they want to do and they can hold a meeting without me because of the respect that they have and the knowledge they have. Thats just 12 years of hard work and dedication that we put to each other. I know Phils in a position of power in our sport, but to criticize me and my guys over that is nonsense.James has played in six consecutive NBA Finals and has three championship rings. Jackson won 11 championships as a coach and two as a player. On Tuesday, James sounded hurt to be scrutinized instead of being embraced by another luminary in league history.If anybody needed advice about the game or wanted to talk about the game, Ive been nothing but open, James said. But it seems like when my name is involved with other people thats helped build the game, its like, How can we criticize what he does on and off the floor? instead of trying to help me.James coach in Cleveland, Tyronn Lue, has played under Jackson, but said hes not going to broker any sort of meeting between the two.Its not something I talked about so if they want to meet they can meet or whatever. Im not in that, said Lue, who added that hes focused only on making the Cavs a better team.James was visibly perturbed with the subject matter for the 10-minute media session. He later told a reporter he would have had much more to say on the subject, but he wanted to stay in a positive state of mind.He added that he wanted to be able to still get his nap in before the Cavs game against the Toronto Raptors later that night with first place in the Eastern Conference on the line.My whole goal is while I have this platform and this muscle that I have right now is how can I better the youth that looks at me every single day and sees what I do and sees what I say and sees the way I walk and talk and what I wear and use it as a positive way to get out of the situation theyre in, James said. Im not going to be that guy that ever downplays somebody or tries to knock someone off just [to] feel better about myself.ESPNs Ian Begley contributed to this report. Kevin Pillar Jersey . Fellow centre Pavel Datsyuk remains out because of a concussion. Zetterberg has 11 goals and 19 assists for a team-high 30 points, and Datsyuk has a team-high 12 goals and 11 assists. Cheap Blue Jays Jerseys Authentic . Numbers Game looks into the Canadiens securing the services of Thomas Vanek in a trade with the New York Islanders. The Canadiens Get: LW Thomas Vanek and a conditional fifth-round pick. http://www.cheapbluejaysjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-j-a-happ-jersey .J. -- Pitcher Carl Pavano is retiring after 14 major league seasons. Roger Clemens Jersey . They reached the 100-point plateau for the fourth time in five games, bested the visiting Trail Blazers by 34 in the paint and scored 19 of the final 25 points in regulation. Justin Smoak Jersey .C. -- Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said after all of these years in the NBA hes still amazed at some of the things LeBron James does. NEW YORK -- It is called football, after all. And in Week 1 of the NFL season, the kicking game has been critical, from the season opener on Thursday night through the finale of Sundays first full day of action.Matt Prater knocked his 43-yard field goal through to lift Detroit past Indianapolis, his 13th winning or tying field goal with under 4:00 to play in the fourth quarter or in overtime.Chandler Catanzaro missed his potential winner from 47 after a bad snap, and New England escaped at Arizona.Mike Nugent came through for Cincinnati against his former Jets team, and Graham Gano failed for Carolina vs. Denver.Five kickers botched 33-yard extra points, though four of their teams won. The Jets Nick Folk, whod never missed a PAT in his 10-year NFL career, saw his string of 312 straight makes end. Plus, he had a field goal blocked in a 23-22 defeat.I feel like I let the team down, Folk admitted. If we make the extra point and the field goal, they need a touchdown at the end. That would have put us up six, so its just frustrating from my end.He gets an early chance to make up for it: We have a game in four days (at Buffalo), so we have to bounce back pretty quick.No kicker had more to bounce back from since last season than Minnesotas Blair Walsh. He infamously shanked a 27-yard field goal on the final play of a wild-card game against Seattle in January, and had to live with that memory until Sunday.Then he missed two field goals and an extra point at Nashville before snapping out of his funk and connecting on four field goals in a 25-16 win.Its nice to bounce back with four field goals, and we won the game, said Walsh, who was supported by coach Mike Zimmer afterward. They were important kicks. But, man, you want to take the drama out of it, thats for sure.There was enough kicking drama this week to fill a soap opera. Not all of it involved placekickers, either.Catanzaros wide-left boot came after a bad snap from rookie Kameron Canaday. That sparked the usual criticism from afar of the Cardinals for saving money on the position.Jaguars punter Brad Nortman landed consecutive kicks at the Green Bay 3 that flipped the field and helped Jacksonville take a 10-7 lead. Those punts didnt seem so significant at games end in Green Bays 27-23 win, but they helped keep the Jags in it early.A 17-yarder by Chargers rookie Drew Kaser certainly played a major role in San Diego blowing a 21-point lead at Kansas City and fallingg in overtime.dddddddddddd The Chiefs took over at the San Diego 42 and marched to the tying touchdown.Chargers coach Mike McCoy didnt exactly distinguish himself by opting to have Josh Lambo try a 54-yard field goal on fourth-and-2 while up 27-10 earlier in the fourth quarter.No good.McCoy had been told by special teams coach Craig Aukerman that Lambo was crushing the ball.He had all the confidence in the world before the game, McCoy said of Lambo, so I had all of the confidence in the world, too.Saints rookie kicker Wil Lutz, a late signee after spending the preseason in Baltimore, was 2 for 4 on field goals and made his four extra points in a 35-34 loss to Oakland. And its hard to blame him for missing a desperation 61-yarder on the final play.Somewhat embarrassingly, though, Lutz and holder Thomas Morstead began hugging in celebration on that last kick before it faded short.For all of the made and missed field goals, the sublime and sickly punts, possibly the most noteworthy footwork in Week 1 came on kickoffs.With touchbacks now coming out to the 25-yard line instead of the 20, there is added incentive to pooch the kickoffs and have them drop inside the 5.Naturally, it was 2015 All-Pro Stephen Gostkowski doing the brilliant kicking for the Patriots.Four of his six kickoffs didnt enter the end zone, and Arizonas final drive started at the 8 (including a Cardinals penalty).Our kickoff team, we went into the game feeling like we had to make some field position plays in the kicking game, coach Bill Belichick said. You dont want to put their offense on a short field. If you can pile a few more yards onto the drive, hopefully it works in your favor. I know there was a lot of sentiment to eliminate that play, but those are the kinds of plays that are good strategy plays in football.Certainly, we had an opportunity to kick it out of the end zone on the last kickoff, but with a good field goal kicker, a good offense, good quarterback, we try to put them on as long a field as we could.Yep, keeping the foot in football.---AP Pro Football Writers Teresa M. Walker and Dave Campbell, and Sports Writers Bernie Wilson, Dave Skretta, Brett Martel, Kyle Hightower, Mark Long, Mike Marot, Noah Trister and Dennis Waszak Jr. contributed.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '

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