LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson is taking former coach Phil Jackson to task over his use of the word “posse”.

Johnson said Wednesday that Jackson “made one small mistake” by using the word during an ESPN interview in which the Hall of Fame coach and New York Knicks president spoke about Cavs superstar LeBron James’ time with the Miami Heat and referred to James’ entourage as a “posse”.

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Talking with reporters Tuesday, James responded to the comment, saying, “It just sucks that now at this point, having one of the biggest businesses that you can have both on and off the floor…having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter that has done so many great businesses, that the title for young African-Americans is the word “posse.”

Even Knicks star Carmelo Anthony weighed in and called the word “offensive”, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

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Other players – including Ron Harper, who played under Jackson on both the Lakers and the Bulls – have reportedly dismissed the comment and defended Jackson.

While Jackson hasn’t publicly commented on the controversy, his latest retweet could be a thinly-veiled response.


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Reaction on social media to Johnson’s comments was mixed.