Skip to content

Oh, nevermind… ESPN will not be running LeBron's weekend in Vegas story

Jul 29, 2010, 5:50 PM EST

Thumbnail image for James_numberone.pngYesterday we told you about the fun story of an ESPN reporter that got to be a fly on the wall when LeBron James was out on the town in Vegas, then wrote a story on it. Said story was up for about nine hours until ESPN editors yanked it down, saying they had not looked at it yet. Probably because LeBron’s people freaked out.

Basically, the story of this getting taken down is far more interesting than the story itself, which said that LeBron acts like a rich, somewhat immature 25 year old celebrity. Shocking news.

ESPN will not be running that story at all, as CNBC’s Darren Rovell got word from both ESPN and the writer, Arash Markazi.

Here are comments from Markazi & ESPN.com’s Rob King. King: “ESPN.com will not be posting the story in any form. We looked into the situation thoroughly and found that Arash did not properly identify himself as a reporter or clearly state his intentions to write a story. As a result, we are not comfortable with the content, even in an edited version, because of the manner in which the story was reported. We’ve been discussing the situation with Arash and he completely understands. To be clear, the decisions to pull the prematurely published story and then not to run it were made completely by ESPN editorial staff without influence from any outside party.” Markazi: “I have been in conversations with ESPN.com’s editors and, upon their complete review, understand their decision not to run the story. It is important to note that I stand by the accuracy of the story in its entirety, but should have been clearer in representing my intent to write about the events I observed.”

One of two things happened here. You can decide for yourself what it was.

One option, Markazi was not clear with LeBron and his people that everything was on the record. You remember the movie Almost Famous? Where a young Cameron Crowe follows around a rock band? That kind of “embedded reporter” thing happens all the time, in all field of journalism, and there are boundaries set up for what is and is not on the record. Happened with reporters in the Gulf War. Happens all the time. It is possible that Markazi — a seasoned professional journalist — did not make it clear he planned to write about everything.

Option two, LeBron’s handlers are amateurs and had no idea that a detailed account of what LeBron does out on the town at night (in a city where he could have gotten in a lot more trouble than he did) would cast him in an unflattering light. How unflattering depends on who you ask, to me he sounded like a lot of 25 year olds out in Vegas, just a lot richer version. But it is possible LeBron’s handlers let Markazi in and really hadn’t though through the implications and freaked out when they saw the story.

Which sounds more plausible to you?

  1. Yosef - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    You guys here at PBT remind me a lot of the guys at PFT. You just looooove talking about the “media giants” like ESPN and how much they suck. Little jealous maybe? It’s like you find one thing you want to harp on, and keep updating us on it till we’re bleeding from the ears (eyes I guess). Less gossip, more reporting please. But just so you know, ESPN does suck major balls, and you guys are much better. Just don’t lose sight of that.

  2. $$$ - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    I think his baby mama had the story pulled. she probably wasnt pleased with James and thought that all the naked women and lebrons comment might just reflect negatively upon her.

  3. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Le”BRO” is getting way to full of himself! Could you imagine his ego if he becomes a good, clutch player in the playoffs?
    You go Le BRO

  4. Ned - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Kurt:
    I think you missed another (and I thnk more likely) possibility. Tao spiked the story. Actually, “spiked” is probably the wrong word. I believe Tao has very specific publicity rules in the party contracts. A reporter can’t just be brought in with a party group and report on the staff and other guests without a specific clearance from Tao. I admit this is a guess, but if the LBJ folks failed to clear the ESPN reporter with Tao in accordance with the policy, Tao would likely refuse retroactive permission to ESPN to do a story on the party.
    Take a gander through the many stories from the two Tao properties in LV and NYC. I can’t remember one with as much detail about the staff. You rarely see stories like the ESPN story because Tao is very protective of privacy the staff and their guests. I think it is unfair to suggest ESPN would allow any athlete to kill a story by one of its reporters just because they athlete thought it was unfair. OTOH, not printing a story where a contract requirement were not met, even if it was not ESPN’s fault seems likely.

  5. Really? - Jul 29, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    LeBron James can’t get his drink on?? Thats pretty much what most 25 year olds do. Big deal.
    Anyone whose ever been to TAO knows that the (“seemingly nude”) girls in the giant glass bowls work there almost every weekend, not just because bron was there.
    Please more HOOPS and less Gossip.

  6. Jay - Jul 29, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    It’s just like when his people pulled the dunk video last year. Everyone thought it was going to be some hellacious, monster dunk. Turned out to be a run of the mill dunk that Lebron himself was only somewhat involved in.
    The same thing here. Everyone who’s read the story comes away disappointed. They expected some sort of legendary hedonism, when this isn’t in the top 100 athlete in Vegas stories I’ve read. Barkley and Jordan are shaking their heads at this story; not only does Lebron not know how to win, he has no idea how to get his party on either.
    Lebron’s handlers simply could not have handled this summer any worse. This is just another example of this.

  7. Lopes - Jul 29, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    I don’t care for Lebron one way or the other, but the story wasn’t even that bad. It was far more tame than anything I would’ve done if I had his fame and his resources. Hell, I’ve done far worse when I was a broke college kid.

  8. Tommy Tutone - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    I, for one, can’t wait to watch the ESPN special on Lebron 20 years from now. No championship rings ever won, he has not only lost his “posse” but blown through all his money. he’s back living with his momma in a shack in Akron, being sued for back child support by 8 different women, can no longer work a job of any type because not only does he not have an education, but he threw out his neck trying to replicate his famous powder toss at the age of 40 at a card show.
    Fat, broke, destitute, and shunned by his home town, the “king” will be forced to take a job selling beer at Cavs games…..
    BWAHAAHAAAA!!!!

  9. Tommy Tutone - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:16 AM

    I, for one, can’t wait to watch the ESPN special on Lebron 20 years from now. No championship rings ever won, he has not only lost his “posse” but blown through all his money. he’s back living with his momma in a shack in Akron, being sued for back child support by 8 different women, can no longer work a job of any type because not only does he not have an education, but he threw out his neck trying to replicate his famous powder toss at the age of 40 at a card show.
    Fat, broke, destitute, and shunned by his home town, the “king” will be forced to take a job selling beer at Cavs games…..
    BWAHAAHAAAA!!!!

  10. Mo - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    I think it is unfair to suggest ESPN would allow any athlete to kill a story by one of its reporters just because they athlete thought it was unfair. OTOH, not printing a story where a contract requirement were not met, even if it was not ESPN’s fault seems likely.
    Of course, most athletes don’t get a 1 hour love fest and are given all of the advertising revenue from the 1 hour special on ESPN either. If you ignore the conflict of interest that ESPN created with “The Decision”, you’re being naive.

  11. ocgunslsinger - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    25 years old rich and famous, out for a good time. What do you expect? In about 5 years when he still has NO rings he may have some maturity.

  12. George - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    To echo some of your pts, the problem isn’t that Lebron was partying in Vegas, he has every right to…it is that he/his people are probably the ones who had the story pulled.
    Sorta like how people make a big fuss about how Lebron had the right to go to Miami. Of course he had the right to leave, all Ohio-ans knew this, and many accepted this possibility well before “The Decision”. It was the way he destroyed Cleveland’s hopes (on national tv) that hurt, with his whole decision thing.
    It annoys the hell out of me to hear clowns like Cowherd talk like it is a socio-economic thing, rich/educated people are fine with it, middle/low class people. That is just tone-deaf thinking. It is perspective like that why ESPN has become a joke.
    Jason Whitlock had a great article about how Lebron/friends are basically destroying his “brand” with some of his stupid actions.

  13. kaveh - Jul 30, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    There is nothing wrong with what Lebron did. So he wanted to look up some hot chick’s dress when she wasn’t wearing any panties, so what? I do too sometimes. So he was drinking, having a rap duel / dance off with Lamar Odom, etc.
    I think the more important aspect of this is just what a loser Lebron is, lol. If he wasn’t probably the best pure athlete in the world, this kid would be a serious loser. The whole his friend is hyping him up on stage while he is crossing his arms. They dump out a little grey goose before they drink. And worst of all, as he is walking through the Casino, Lebron is fake dribbling a ball and shooting fake jump shots, fake crossovers against tables, etc. Are you serious?
    On a serious matter, the important part of this story is ESPN. They can on longer be trusted. They are not journalists, they are in bed with Lebron and will do anythign to hype him and protect him. It is almost like your mom being your prosecutor in court. Yeah, she is really going to be “trying” to get you convicted. There is a huge bias by ESPN and everyone knows it.
    Just take a look at this excuse. Arash didn’t tell Lebron who he was? How can anyone believe this. How did he get past the 5 security guards and party with Lebron all night? Did Lebron just pick some shmuck from the crowd, luckily for Arash it was him? This excuse is absolutely ridiculous. It is obvious that he was allowed into the circle because he was supposed to write the story. Lebron and his handlers were expecting a fluff piece because, well, this is ESPN after all. Instead, the guy put up a real article, and the Lebron camp were pissed.
    The funny thing is that this story got huge because of the intimate relationship between Lebron and ESPN.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Jabari Parker injury latest for disappointing rookie class
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Durant (7287)
  2. K. Martin (6992)
  3. R. Rondo (6672)
  4. C. Bosh (6619)
  5. M. Smart (6407)
  1. T. Jones (6218)
  2. T. Parker (6170)
  3. D. Rose (6125)
  4. A. Bogut (5937)
  5. B. Lopez (5819)