Tag:ESPN
Posted on: October 6, 2010 1:51 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 9:41 am
 

Heat Stroke: Heat-Knicks to go 3D

ESPN plans to broadcast Heat game on ESPN 3D, take overhyped team into overhyped technology scope.
Posted by Matt Moore


Just in case you haven't had enough of the Miami Heat in two dimensions, you'll be able to get them in the third for the first time. The New York Times reports that ESPN will broadcast the first 3D NBA game on December 17th , between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat. The network will air the game on their newest venture, ESPN 3D, not to be confused with ESPN 3, their online component, or ESPN 8: The Ocho . From the Times :
Steve Hellmuth, the N.B.A.’s executive vice president for operations and technology, acknowledged that these experiments produced mixed results. He said producers were still determining how best to shoot games in a way that maximized the advantages of the medium. For basketball, Hellmuth said, this would probably mean fewer of the high, wide shots common in standard broadcasts, and more shots from the “low-slash position,” captured from a camera at the corner of the baseline
Oh, so the game will actually have its own look and feel. Neat. We're pretty excited about this. In fact, we've already put together a list of things we're excited to see in 3D for the first time in this game:
  • Carlos Arroyo's strange, carney hands. We think they'll look like tentacles, only not quite Rondo-esque.
  • Dwyane Wade's various sleeves, braces, and wraps. It'll feel like we're so close we can actually smell the hospital.
  • Amar'e Stoudemire's dunks, which we're pretty sure in 3D could actually give viewers PTSD.
  • Mike Miller's hands. After all, maybe in 3D we'll see what's wrong with them that he keeps passing instead of shooting.
  • Mike D'Antoni's mustache. It'll get us ready to eventually see it in the fourth dimension where it belongs, amid the cosmos.
  • Chris Bosh's defense. Maybe it'll seem more real that way.
  • LeBron James' ego. We're hoping the third dimension actually brings it into the physical dimension and it looks like a shadow player playing behind him.
  • Gallinari, because really, what's better than a 3D rooster?
Posted on: October 4, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2010 1:10 pm
 

Heat Stroke: ESPN hits warp speed on Heat

ESPN launching global initiative to track every conceivable detail of Miami's first season with the Triad. Posted by Matt Moore

You knew this was coming. If you're feigning outrage and shock, stop now. ESPN covers big stories with exhausting girth. That's their thing. They take the biggest stories, the ones likely to pull in the most people, and then they swallow them whole in a giant media albatross mouth. So it's only natural that they've now announced their plan for the Heat, and it is similarly behemoth.

You know why? Because we're all reading it. That's why. No matter how much people say they're sick of LeBron James, they're still in love with commenting on James news just to say how sick they are of it. No matter how much we argue they haven't won a single game, the fact is that all their games across the league are selling out and people are predicting record ratings. The Heat are going to sell. And ESPN has taken full advantage of that fact. It started with "The Decision" and it continues with the "Heat Index."

ESPN announced today that they are launching a special coverage initiative called "The Heat Index" which is, honestly, massive. It features now-former Cleveland Plain-Dealer reporter Brian Windhorst, who has covered LeBron since high school, Mike Wallace of the Miami Herald , Kevin Arnovitz, who runs ESPN's TrueHoop Network, and Sebastian Martinez-Christensen to provide ESPN Deportes coverage.

The package itself is huge, with a running tracker of how the Miami Triad stack up against other Big 3's throughout history, Heat-related Twitter aggregation, any Heat content from across ESPN and the TrueHoop Network, 24 hour live streaming feed of LeBron's house, a 3-D hologram display of how much merchandise is being sold at the arena, and health meters attached to the players. Okay, those last three I made up.

When we launched this here Heat Stroke, it wasn't just to bring you Heat news, it was to show you just how completely ridiculous the coverage of this team is going to be on a daily basis, more than any other story in the NBA, including the 16-time-and-defending champion Lakers. That's the irony. We recognize how ridiculous the coverage of the Heat is and will be, and at the same time we're a part of it. Why? Because you want to know.

Everyone's obsessed with this team. They're genuinely excited about the combination of talent on board, or they love to complain about the coverage, and in order to do so, they have to seek it out. Not that finding it is going to be very hard. Get used to it, this is the new NBA world for the next 12 months. All Heat, all the time Until next summer, at which point it's all lockout, all the time.
Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:24 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 11:13 pm
 

ESPN releases statement regarding LeBron party

Posted by Matt Moore

ESPN has released a statement to explain the series of events surrounding the phantom LeBron story which appeared briefly on ESPN's servers before being yanked. The story has come down that the problem lies not with James, nor with ESPN.com's editorial staff, but with the writer, Arash Markazi.

Rob King, Vice President and Editor-In-Chief, ESPN Digital Media released a statement today:

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.

We knew the story was going to get complicated. James was clearly unaware that his actions were going to be reported on. The question was whether he was unaware Markazi was a reporter or if he was aware Markazi was a reporter but believed he was off-record. Now we have the official position regarding that.

So was what Markazi did unethical?

If this were a drug ring, Markazi could not identify himself as a reporter. He couldn't ask if people involved in illegal behavior were on-record without jeopardizing both his safety and the story. There are a number of illegal stories broken where a reporter has had to refrain from revealing both his position and intention.

LeBron James did not do anything illegal. He has done nothing against the law, nothing that would warrant this kind of deception. There's no crime in being an egotist, no fault that goes against human decency is partying like a rock star. He simply comes off looking bad. And that's not enough to warrant such tactics. Perhaps it was a misunderstanding. But the onus is on Markazi to notify James or one of his representatives that he is a reporter, and that he is writing a story on the night's events.  LeBron James has every right to be whatever kind of person he wants to be at a private event held for him, among friends.

For his part, Markazi also released a statement, though I would not particularly call it contrite:

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.

ESPN takes a lot of flack for not being responsible with their coverage, and will of course take flack for protecting James' PR theoretical rear. But Markazi leaves little option by admitting he did not specify that what he saw that night would end up in front of the eyes of millions. Their hands were tied when Markazi did not approach the story with the right set of practices. We live in an age where the media seems to know no bounds. At some point, those lines have to be drawn by those with the most reach.

None of this makes any part of this story any less funny.
Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:19 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 4:29 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Posted by Matt Moore

Hey, what haven't we written about for thirty seconds? I know! LeBron!

Today's tale is especially gooey though. It involves chap stick, champagne poured out, women in a bathtub, and the continuing self-demolition of LeBron James' public persona.

Arash Markazi is a columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com . Last weekend, while King James and his merry men were partying in Vegas, Markazi was invited along for the festivities. This isn't anything new. Media members are occasionally privy to such events as part of a profile, but the events are almost always considered off-record. Markazi was apparently not under that impression, at least when he filed.

Markazi's story went up this morning at this link (link now = very dead). Within the hour, it was taken down again. Whoops. Something went up that shouldn't have. Unfortunately for the poor folks at ESPN.com's editorial department, in this day and age, someone managed to extract a copy of it.  And it now lives on the Internet forever , among the weeds.

So what was it in that article that brought so much attention?

Well...

There's nothing in the article that is particularly shocking. Millionaire 25-year-old parties like a rock star, par-parties like a rock star. The problem is that it represents yet another blow to the hollowed out wreckage that is LeBron's public image. Furthermore, even though hardcore NBA fans, media, and personnel are fully aware that this is the kind of life James leads, it's still not the image he wants to project to the mothers of the ten year olds buying his shoes/lunchboxes/cereal/colognes. So what does the article say exactly? Let's go to the tape!

Want references to scantily clad women? You got it!

"The waiter bringing him his cup of green tea with a spoonful of honey and a dash of lemon juice makes the cut, as does the scantily clad brunette with a tattoo of a heart on her right shoulder. She wants to take a picture with him. "I can't right now," says James. "Maybe later, upstairs, I'll remember you're the one with the tattoo."
And then later:
Bottle after bottle of "Ace of Spades" champagne is delivered to the table by a waiter flying down from above the dance floor like some overgrown Peter Pan on a wire. One time he's dressed like a King, another time as Indiana Jones and another in a replica of James' No. 6 Miami Heat jersey. James, who can hardly see the flying figure through his tinted glasses, almost gets kicked in the head on the waiter's last trip down. He looks at the girls around him and says, "I wish they'd have one of these girls with no panties do that instead of the guy."
Well, hey, LeBron's not married. Not really any of our business. But it certainly doesn't paint the image that James wants to in light of the backlash he's faced since "The Decision."

The article features an inside look at how James behaves in close company. Not only James, in fact, but head of LRMR marketing Maverick Carter, who has emerged as the the dominant force behind James' decisions since hitting free agency. So a man of that kind of power, responsible for the business decisions of one of the most powerful people in sports today is probably reserved and in control, right?
Carter, LeBron's childhood friend and manager, begins dancing around James like Puff Daddy in a Notorious B.I.G video. A giant red crown-shaped cake is brought over to James while go-go dancers dressed in skimpy red and black outfits raise four lettered placards that spell out, "KING." Carter grabs a bottle of Grey Goose and pours a quarter of it on the floor and raises it up before passing it off.
Well, okay, that's a different approach.

Want to know exactly how ridiculous the entire spectacle is? Glen Davis thinks LeBron was acting a fool. That's right. The guy nicknamed "Big Baby" who was compared to Shrek thinks James is over-the-top:
Toward the end of the night, Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis walks past James' party and looks at the scene up and down several times like a painting in a museum, soaking in the images of the go-go dancers, the "King" sign and the costumed man delivering bottles of champagne.

Davis shakes his head and walks on.

James dances on the couch and sings along with the music blaring from speakers all around him.
Burn!

I'm not even going to touch the flying waiters in Indiana Jones outfits. (I thought they named the hooker Indiana. Or am I getting that quote wrong?)

Allright, but the story was only up for a few minutes and then taken down. Surely no one's had time to already start making fun of...

Oh .

Oh, and that .

Oh, geez , the "nexus of insane wealth and mega-celebrity." Well played, SBNation.com. 

Well,then.

For James' part, Darren Rovell is reporting that his team has said they did not have any part in the piece getting pulled. And ESPN has come back with an official quote , first reported by Rovell, and told to FanHouse and our own Ken Berger:
"The story should have never been published. The draft was inadvertently put on the server before going through the usual editorial process. We are in the midst of looking into the matter.”
Oh, so that's what happened. A story outlining the most powerful figure in the NBA whose public image has been tarnished outlining his rather opulent weekend in moderate detail just got slipped onto the server.

That guy that lost the iPhone 4 is going to have nothing on whatever poor guy screwed this up.

We shouldn't overreact to this, there should be nothing in this article that stuns us. James does nothing illegal, inbibes no illegal drugs, says nothing of real controversy. He's just your average, run-of-the-mill, mega-star with millions of dollars being treated like a god in the most opulent place on Earth. He's a lot like you and me, actually, if we routinely faked playing basketball in casinos and hung out in places with naked women in bathtubs with rose pedals as decoration (my wife prefers paper lamps). Really, part of LeBron is inside all of us. I'll let you figure out which organ that is, in particular.

(Image via: Ball Don't Lie )
Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com