LeBron is a really great guy.
He must be, if the Worldwide Leader in Sports is to be believed.
On Wednesday morning, a story appeared in ESPN.com. Written by Arash Markazi, it was a first-hand account of a Vegas party hosted by James himself. It wasn’t a very flattering piece, with nude women in a bathtub, go-go dancers holding up placards that spelled “KING,” and James wishing “they’d
have one of these girls with no panties (bring us champagne) instead of the guy.”
Really, the story isn’t the article itself. Las Vegas is known as a destination that requires a lot of discretion. It’s no mistake that one of the cities’ slogans is “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
Anyway, about 15 minutes after the story was posted, it was pulled. Later that day, ESPN.com responds that the story was still in a draft phase and had accidentally been posted before being fully reviewed by an editor.
Later, ESPN changed its excuse. Apparently, Markazi never identified himself as a reporter to James’ group, so ethically, the story should not have been posted.
Which leads me back to the part about James being a great guy. If ESPN’s excuse is to be believed, Markazi introduced himself as a regular guy (certainly not a reporter) and was invited to dine with LeBron, his family, and his friends at a casino restaurant. Then, “Average Joe” Markazi was invited to tag around to a private party in a casino nightclub.
Damn, LeBron is an awesome dude. I’m gonna have to keep my ears open about LeBron’s next Vegas trip. Maybe next time, he’d let me tag along with him to the strip club.
OK, sarcasm mode is off. Here’s what really happened (probably).
1. Markazi identified himself as a reporter. James and his group, thinking it would be a fluff piece, agreed to let him come along.
2. The article was posted. James’ group realized how unflattering it was.
3. James’ group complained to ESPN.
4. The Worldwide Leader, having already refused to publish reports that Brett Favre was passing sensitive information on the Green Bay Packers over to the Minnesota Vikings (months prior to signing with Minnesota), refused to publish news that Ben Roethlisberger had been accused of rape (the first time), and was the network of record for “The Decision,” agrees to take down the story.
5. To help James save face, ESPN makes up some story about the author not identifying himself as a reporter. Which also shows us what a great guy James really is.
Apparently trying to start a blog while (a) finishing a grad class, (b) celebrating Thanksgiving, (c) Christmas shopping, and (d) getting grades in (I’m a teacher) wasn’t the best idea. Oh well…
NY Giants Report
As bad as things were against Denver, the Giants really turned it around against the Dallas Cowboys, winning 31-24. The Cowboys dominated statistically, but since this isn’t fantasy football, it didn’t really matter. The Giants won because the offense made some big plays, the defense shut down the running game and limited the big plays, and the special teams shined (especially on a 79-yard punt return touchdown by Dominick Hixon.
The Giants should have had more, but wide receiver Steve Smith dropped a sure touchdown pass from Eli Manning. It was one of Smith’s three drops in the game. On his Facebook and Twitters, Steve Smith held a contest for fans to choose his next touchdown celebration. Perhaps Smith was thinking too far ahead on that drop?
That being said, Smith is having an outstanding season. He’s second in the NFC in receptions and yards, and needs just three catches and 364 yards in the last four games to surpass Amani Toomer’s franchise season records. He also had a chance to be the first Giants wide receiver to go to the Pro Bowl since Homer Jones (the creator of the touchdown spike) in 1968. That being said, he’s currently not amongst the top vote-getters at WR. The fan voting only counts for one-third of the final results, so the players and coaches better do the right thing.
The Giants play the Philadelphia Eagles tomorrow. A win, plus a Cowboys’ loss to the Chargers, would create a three-way tie at the top of the NFC East. A loss would put the Giants two games back for the wild card with three games to play. Hate to say it, but I predict Eagles 24, Giants 13.
The LeBron Sweepstakes
Both the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks are expected to bid for LeBron James after this season. Nets’ fans look to LeBron’s friendship with rapper and part Nets’ owner Jay-Z. Knicks’ fans hope the lure of playing at Madison Square Garden is enough to get LeBron. But both teams have something counting against them…
They both stink.