ESPN quickly pulled an article off its website Wednesday that chronicled LeBron James partying in Las Vegas, opening up the network to further speculation about its relationship with a frequent subject.
In the article, which lasted about 15 minutes on the site, James is followed inconspicuously by an ESPN reporter, who spots James drinking at nightclubs for a weekend around scantily-clad women and friends, including Hornets point guard Chris Paul.
The article reinforces James' growing reputation as a coddled egomaniac: He surrounds himself with an entourage of yes-men, poses in front of a personalized cake designed as a crown and soaks in the attention while wearing sunglasses in a dark club.
The cake is delivered to the club's VIP section by "four go-go dancers," the article states, who carry lettered placards that spell out "KING."
According to ESPN representative Josh Krulewitz, the article was removed because it didn't go through the proper editorial procedure - although he couldn't outline what that was. "It varies," he said. Krulewitz also didn't know whether the article will return to the site, or whether it was nixed completely. "The story should have never been published," he said. "The draft was inadvertently put on the server."
ESPN aired "The Decision" on July 9, benefitting from a ratings boost for the hour-long special. ESPN catered to all of James' demands for the show - he chose the location, the time and the interviewer. Not only did ESPN concede creative control for an exclusive, but it gave up the advertising revenue. "A damaging impact on our reputation as journalists." Vince Doria, ESPN senior VP and director of news, said in an ESPN.com article that admitted its mistake. "You can't justify paying for news. There are no excuses here. The hope is that we learned something from this, that we won't repeat the error, and that we can restore any lost confidence in our ability to objectively report and present the news."
'Nuff said. NO mater how much money or fame I had, no way would pulling a stunt like this even cross my mind.
Alexander the Great was a King. Lebron James is a basektball player. Forget being humble, just realize the difference between conquering and ruling people and making free throws.