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Oops Nike, Check Your Media Policy

I love PR spin.  I mean, I hate it...but I love watching the process.  It's a soul-less endeavor that requires one to cease actually being a human being and commence being an entity, whatever entity it is that requires the spin.  It forces one to act as though the entity it represents is incapable of wrong-doing and the very thought of such wrong-doing is implausible and by alledging the wrong-doing, you have offended the entity, which is so very obviously pure as the driven snow as are it's intentions. 

An entity, like say, Nike, which came under fire yesterday for apparently stealing cameras that might have recorded Jordan Crawford dunking on LeBron James. 

After nearly an entire day of silence in which the dunk grew into mythical proportions, Mike finally released a statement on the matter.  Of course, the statement didn't address the one thing we wanted it to, it instead did what great PR spin does...pushed all of the blame onto someone else.

"Nike has been operating basketball camps for the benefit of young athletes for decades and has long-standing policies as to what events are open and closed to media coverage. Unfortunately, for the first time in four years, two journalists did not respect our no videotaping policy at an after-hours pickup game following the LeBron James Skills Academy," said Nike spokesman Derek Kent on Wednesday.

Of course, this is 100% Grade-A bullshit.  Don't believe me?  Check the actual Nike media policy yourself (PDF).  No mention of restrictions against filming the players  Gin, you lose.

Ryan Miller added his own rebuttal to Nike's statement an included some more specifics about NikeLeBronCrawfordTapeGate:

James team won that game but lost the following contest. I thought it was a good time to introduce myself to James. We have a mutual friend (as weird as that sounds) and he was very approachable. Seconds later, he walked up to Lynn Merritt (Nike Basketball Senior Director) and spoke with him. Merritt approached me, telling me to take a seat in a chair, said that I wasn't supposed to be filming, and kept repeating to a media relations representative, "Take his tape."

He didn't give me a clear-cut reason why, but did mention that "these guys shouldn't be filmed when they're not in shape" and "we don't want your stuff ending up on the Internet." I do not know for a fact they wanted it because it could have had footage of the dunk.

Ryan says he is positive that the Nike execs only went into action after LeBron whispered to them about the tapes.  He also explains why he parted ways with the tapes in the first place, something many have questioned:

The only reason I gave it up was because the media relations rep. from a third-party company said he would take it to pacify the Nike execs and he'd give it back to me in the morning. It turns out Merritt asked him for it personally afterwards.

Ryan says had he been allowed to keep the tapes and everything proceeded as normal, he likely would have posted the footage but "as an afterthought in an article," not specifically for shock value.  True, it probably would have gained some notoriety from there, but the impact would have been about 1/10th of the drama that the tape-taking caused.  Ryan sums up the situation:

It is unfortunate James and Nike didn't take a Devin Harris-like approach to the situation. It would've garnered James respect for laughing it off, promoting the heck out of his camp, and given a relatively unknown Jordan Crawford to most college basketball fans the credit he was due.

Even if LeBron's not talking about the dunk, at least Jordan Crawford is.  Not gloat-y or anything...the kid's just explaining what no one else seems to be:

Skip Bayless...GO!