If you blinked, you might have missed it: on Wednesday ESPN’s website ran a story that was unfavorable to LeBron James. It was yanked after about 15 minutes. According to Stefan Bondy in today’s Daily News, James was followed “inconspicuously by an ESPN reporter who spotted James drinking at nightclubs for a weekend around scantily-clad women and friends, including Hornet’s point guard Chris Paul. The article reinforces James’ growing reputation as a coddled egomaniac: He surrounds himself with an entourage of yes men …”
Well, maybe and maybe not. We spend our weekends in similar fashion and no one has yet accused us of being coddled.
But the yanking of the story leaves no doubt that James is being coddled by ESPN. Or, as Alex Groberman of opposingviews.com, puts it, “If there was any doubt the ‘World Wide Leader In Sports’ was in LeBron James’ back pocket, there isn’t any more.” By the way, opposingviews.com managed to grab the story before it was pulled.
A couple of days ago, Vince Doria, ESPN’s senior VP and director of news, said in an ESPN.com article that the decision to televise James’s big announcement on July 9 had “a damaging impact on our reputation as journalists.” Vince might want to consider that ESPN’s latest actions have done to their rep.