The news that LeBron James got dunked on by a college kid then allegedly ordered Nike to hide the evidence has triggered a litany of scathing opinion columns across the media.
I’m not going to suggest the dunk didn’t happen, even though Jordan Crawford was the one to jam on James. The same Jordan Crawford I watched extensively while he played for the Indiana Hoosiers as a freshman, and never saw unleash even a single high-flying dunk.
LeBron got dunked on by Jordan Crawford. Miracles do happen.
The media backlash regarding James’ involvement in confiscating the video of the play has been shocking to say the least but is hardly surprising.
The most absurd article I have read comes from Kelly Dwyer of the esteemed “Ball Don’t Lie” team.
Dwyer comes at LeBron from all angles, but also points out the the situation itself is “out and out nonsense.” Dwyer apparently wants to add to the nonsense by writing an article about what may have never happened.
Let’s get our facts in order here kids.
The two cameraman shooting at LeBron’s Skills Academy were freelance photographers, which isn’t exactly a great way to make a living – unless you capture something amazing like LeBron getting dunked on.
Of the two freelance photographers, only one, Ryan Miller, has spoken on the matter. That’s because Miller is telling anybody who will listen that Nike took his tape. More importantly, he is the only one saying LeBron ordered Nike officials to take the tape.
Miller has reason to be angry and blaming James isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that everybody believes his story.
Even a mental midget (think Zach Randolph) would have to realize that hiding the tape would create far more of a stir than releasing it. Word would get out, and then you would look like a damn fool.
And then there is this fairly damning press release by Nike, which appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“Nike has been operating basketball camps for the benefit of young athletes for decades and has longstanding policies in place regarding what events are open and closed to media coverage. Unfortunately, for the first time in four years, two journalists did not respect our ‘no videotaping’ policy at an after-hours pick-up game Monday evening following the LeBron James Skills Academy.”
It’s fairly clear Miller wasn’t supposed to be filming anything, and also that Nike has the right to confiscate any video shot at the camp. What if LeBron would have done a 720 dunk over Crawford? I bet Nike would have confiscated that video too.