His people called, not LeBron himself, and had the story pulled: this is far more likely than trained professionals editing and publishing a story accidentally. This is not what ESPN’s official statement is, but again, we’re not accusing them of lying here—just of having a very broad understanding of “the editorial process.”
Coming on the heels of “The Decision,” the most bizarre University of Phoenix infomercial ever, this looks horrible for ESPN, whose own ombudsman condemned the network’s decision to air the hour-long LeBron interview and the lack of editorial control the network had in dealing with LeBron and his entourage. You know the network values entertainment over journalism, and they know they do, but the pretense just made me feel so much better about the whole thing. Like eating a fried chicken salad and not just the fried chicken, I liked the greenery giving me the illusion of health and balance in my diet.