This took place a couple of weeks ago at LeBron's youth camp, which had a pickup game featuring the NBA MVP and some pro and college players. As you can see, plenty of people were on hand to watch, and they got to see Xavier's Jordan Crawford get loose off a pick and throw down a dunk over LeBron.
The reason you didn't see it — at least until now — is that officials from Nike went around and confiscated the tapes of the two people they thought were taking video of the event. Can't have a video of LeBron being dunked on get out (ignore the fact that things like this are all over the Web already). Except that holding it back made everyone REALLY want to see it and getting the tape released quickly evolved into a cause that bloggers and radio talk show hosts could get behind. Nike tried to keep it in a vault, but nobody really thought that would work.
What we learned from this is two things. First, that LeBron James is human and if you have a head of steam up and he rotates over late, you can dunk on him (well, if you can dunk).
Second, that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. Always. If LeBron had gone to college and taken a US History class, he could have learned this from the Watergate scandal that toppled the Nixon administration. But LeBron went straight to the NBA from high school, he missed the lesson and was doomed to repeat it.
His Nike handlers, on the other hand, did go to college. Or at least the University of Oregon. They are highly paid PR professionals — they should have known better.
If after this went down the original photographers had been allowed to leave with their tapes, gone home and posted this on YouTube, there would have been half a day of buzz within the NBA blogosphere and everyone would have moved on.
But if you want to create a sensation, if you want to get TMZ involved, if you want analysts from ESPN and CNBC and just about everywhere else to comment on LeBron getting dunked on, then take the tapes away. Anyone with half a brain knows that eventually some version of that tape was going to be made public (there was a third shooter, up
in the grassy knoll on the upstairs track) and now it will be on TMZ’s television show, Jordan Crawford has twitter hashmarks and people who don’t care about basketball will watch it tonight.
Then everyone will say, “He was hiding that? Why?” and move on.