Thursday, July 09, 2009

If Lebron Dunks on a Kid, and No One Sees it, Did it Happen? [J. Mark English]

Nike is hoping the answer is no. The Nike corporation is putting a kabash on a video showing a young kid posterizing Lebron James, their number one investment.

Here is more from the New York Daily News (Michael Obernauer):

Nike spends millions on ads telling us that "We Are All Witnesses" to what LeBron James does on a basketball court.

So what do they call this, witness protection?

Another controversy is erupting around "Chosen One" LeBron James for what by some accounts is more childish behavior, this time after a college player dunked on LeBron at his skills camp and Nike swooshed in to seize the tapes - possibly at James' behest.

James was playing in a pickup game at the Nike-run LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, when Xavier sophomore Jordan Crawford threw down a two-handed jam over the Cavaliers star - with cameras on the sidelines rolling.

Ryan Miller, a freelance cameraman working the camp, told that James called over Nike Basketball senior director Lynn Merritt shortly after the dunk, and that minutes later his tapes were taken away.

"LeBron came over and told him something. ... LeBron said, 'Hey, Lynn, come here," Miller said. Merritt approached Miller shortly thereafter and "he just said, 'We have to take your tape," Miller said. "They took it from other guys, too."

A spokesman for the shoe behemoth said Nike confiscated the tapes only because cameramen violated the camp's policy by filming after hours.

"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," Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said. "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."

"Jordan Crawford is a great player. LeBron has been dunked on before, it's no big deal," a source close to James told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "It was a pickup game and it happened in competition."

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