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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  110 responses

Miami Heat Ban Anti-LeBron Writer

Pro tip for any of you aspiring hoops scribes out there: repeatedly calling one of the L’s biggest stars “the whore of Akron” in print probably isn’t the wisest career move. Just ask this Esquire writer: “Everybody’s a critic. At 4:01 P.M. yesterday, I get this e-mail from Tim Donovan, head of media relations for the Miami Heat: ‘Scott: You are no longer welcome at our building and will not be credentialed moving forward. Tim’ That’s it. That’s the whole e-mail. So I send back an e-mail at 4:04 asking why. No reply. I suspect that Tim objected to something I wrote yesterday. I referred to LeBron James as the Whore of Akron — maybe that was it.”

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  • BK Chris

    LMAO! So much for freedom of speech!

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    So LeBron is above the Constitution now? Should we let him tell us what religion we have to be? Heck, will I possibly be banned from Miami because of this post?

  • ClydeSays

    Ha. For a second I thought it was going to be LeBron’s personal copy boy, Brian Windhorst.

    “Whore of Akron”?! WTF does that mean? He should only be banned for a weak insult…

  • reflex

    lame

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Caboose: Based on your apparent knowledge of the constitution, can I safely assume you’re the president of your local Tea Party chapter?

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Wow, Ryan that wasn’t necessary. And I referenced 4 of the 5 freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment: Freedom of Press, Religion, Assembly, and Speech.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I think ANY professional sports organization can ban ANY writer/journalist they choose to.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    There’s nothing “unconstitutional” about that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    That should be Lebron’s new motto: “The only NBA player in history who damned the Constitution!”

  • chaser

    Caboose, haven’t u heard? Brons a free mason.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Haha I actually like that motto Eboy. And you may be right in that banning a member of the press from ATTENDING a place is different from actually banning them from WRITING.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    cosign @Eboy. No one took away this writer’s right to speak or impeded on his freedom of press. The Heat are simply saying (or not saying as it were), that if he is going to insult their players, he will have to do it from the cheap seats.

  • MUBWAR

    Stop hating on the KING bi****s.

  • The Philosopher

    Another casualty in the unprecedented AND never before seen reign. Who else? The NBA publicly blacklists an aspiring journalist on the behalf of LeBron James?
    There should no longer be any dispute regarding the clout of this kid. What we are witnessing will never be seen again in the History of professional basketball.
    At this point, he can be the 10th best player in the world, and it will not even matter. He is too big.
    LONG… LIVE… THE KING.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Haha nice one chaser

  • Justin

    How is this an insult? It’s more of an observation

  • Fat Lever

    Thought for sure they were talking about Gene Wojohowskoiaasdo2i3&u22 from Yahoo sports.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Jumpman, exactly. The dude can write whatever he’d like, he’s just not welcome in their arena.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    That guy went way too far but it is hilarious. At least he wasnt joking about something serious like divorce.

  • Tombomb

    Delonte West said his mother was the whore of Akron……..Boom.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Just having some fun with you, ‘Boose. We don’t talk nearly enough politics in here. I know we’re all too polite.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    You people clearly have np idea what the Constitution says and how it relates to the situation here. Seriously.

  • James aka…

    I’ll second the comment of Allenp. Freedom of speech, as written in most constintuions means that the government cannot sanction anyone for writing things critical of the government, or for that matter most other aspects of speech in society. Whatever limits one thinks are on society in regards to this have no bearing on a private sports team limiting access of a critical writer to its private property. They didn’t stop him from writing anything, they just didn’t give him media passes. While you might deem it cowardly, its certainly not related to Freedom of Speech, the right.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick tha Quick

    Surprised that Mark Cuban hasn’t been banned from the arena or do owners get a free pass.

  • http://www.fiba.vom Darksaber

    Woj, you paying attention, douche?

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    There has to be more to this story if the NBA isn’t credentialing this guy either. By the way, I’m going to go on record and say I support the constitution. I don’t care who knows.

  • http://twitter.com/@mrdangdang Mr. Dang-Dang

    Calling him the ‘whore of Akron’ is one of those sensational incendiary things that a sports radio host would say. Exactly why I don’t listen to sports radio anymore. It’s irresponsible journalism for the sake of attention. Maybe the Heat aren’t giving him press credentials because they only give them to ACTUAL journalists, not clowns.

  • T-Money

    Ryan: as an “insider”, maybe you can shed light on this. I know that you’re not a big Kobe guy on a personal level ever since that interview fiasco. Did something similar happen between Woj and Bron? He makes Skip Bayless look almost rational.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Diesel: I’m a huge Esquire fan, and Raab’s a good writer, but it seems he’s being disingenuous here. From my experience, what he refers to as “the NBA’s credential” almost certainly refers to the league-wide pass the NBA gives to certain writers — usually team beat writers and national NBA columnists who travel a lot to cover games. In seven-plus years working in the Slam office, regularly covering Knicks, Nets and Sixers, as well as traveling to All-Star and Finals, I was never able to get one of those passes. Unless that’s changed in the past few years, I don’t think anyone at Slam ever has.
    Raab, meanwhile is a writer for a non-sports magazine working on a book he’s made clear is intended to savage one the NBA’s most high-profile players. Getting an NBA credential would constitute (pun intended) special treatment for him even if he didn’t have the agenda he has. He can, apparently, still get credentialed for Heat road games by going through the opposing team, and neither the Heat nor the league are under any obligation to credential him or anyone other media member. No matter your feelings on LeBron, the writer in question doesn’t have much of a case.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    The Heat couldn’t ban Woj if they wanted to… And they probably do.

  • Sizzle

    Not giving a credential is not banning free speech. The guy can write whatever he wants, whenever he wants, he’s just not going to get a credential for the Heat. Nothing wrong with that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Why couldn’t they, B?

  • T-Money

    What really sucks is that Woj is actually a freaking good writer. It’s just a shame that he has spent the last year writing the exact same column every week. I’m sure he gets plenty of hits, though. Supply and demand, I guess.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    With how extreme the cynicism and mean-spirited narrative has become in sports, I pull closer and closer to SLAM and writers like Holly MacKenzie. I follow the NBA to watch basketball played at the highest level as a quiet, brief escape from reality but there are so many trying to ruin a good time with their negativity.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    T-Money: Semi-ironically, I used to work with Woj at a newspaper in Jersey. I have no personal beef with the dude — he was always decent to me — but I think in this case, he’s just going with what works. He’s done really well with the righteous indignation steez in his career (see if you can dig up his stuff on Tark when he was in Fresno), and he’s just sticking with what he knows. LeBron makes a perfect target for a guy like him.
    Of course, as Marrioti reminds us, sports columnists who make a living chastising athletes for their moral shortcomings can have that sh*t blow up in their faces. Not saying that’s going to happen with Woj. Just saying.

  • mp73

    Did that writer dunk on Lebron or was there not not enough room on the team charter for one of Lebron’s friends so the writer had to go? Either way more of the diva act for LaBron

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    His reach/audience is too large, E. He’s not just some writer from Esquire that not many people have heard of. It would be a PR disaster.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I wanna get banned too!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    So that’s hypothetical…not factual, B. They could keep him out if they chose to. I really doubt Riley would give two sh*ts less if there was another PR nightmare. He’s already been involved in and partied to the biggest one in league history.

  • SchW

    Thanks Ryan for all the clarification on the receiveng credentials.
    Everybody with a 5 minutes spare time wants to milk the cow, just because he knows what sell, and that goes both for this whore character and Woj as for many other populsist journalist in the sports and other areas!

  • Maurice Bobb

    Sure, the Heat can ban Raab from their arena…and if he wrote for the Gainsville Gazette or some crappy blog, I’d say “Fine.” But the guy slings ink for Esquire, which is a helluva mag with a rich history of great story telling and deserves respect from any professional sports outlet despite it not having a “sports” focus. I totally agree with Ryan on the NBA league pass issue, but if the guy does his due diligence and requests creds from the team PR department, it’s petty of them to deny him access based on his criticisms, however venomous and expletive filled they may be. And just to ward off unneccessary responses, I don’t agree with Raab’s reporting on LBJ, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support his right to do so.

  • TyMo

    Oh so those were the “talents” Bron brought to South Beach.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Nah, E. More factual than hypothetical. You ban a guy like that and you’re just asking for trouble. First and foremost, because of who he is, a move like that would reflect poorly on the team and every media outlet would pick that story up and run with it. Raab doesn’t command that kind of attention in sports nationally which is largely why this story isn’t that big. Secondly, it would be 100x’s worse for LeBron. All of a sudden it could be said (and also written by Woj) that LBJ had something to do with it, he’s running the Miami organization, yaddda, yadda, yadda. And because of who it is, people would latch on to that and believe it. Trust me, banning Woj would be a PR nightmare like no other. This dude writes a column for Yahoo! Sports. Just think about how big that is.

  • feez22

    if the writer were willing to write “whore of akron” im sure there were much more obscene comments throughout his paper. a lot of lebron haters writing these days… not angry about it. but maybe it would be smart to write bad things about lebron outside of miami.

  • http://www.slam.com Martey

    If he’s the whore, was Dan Gilbert the pimp?

  • http://www.slam.com Martey

    And there is a difference between journalist and sensationalist. Why is he acting surprised, then he leaks the email?

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    If I got banned by the Miami Heat, I’d leak the email too. Why not?

  • T-Money

    if anybody’s interested, you can take a look at dude’s twitter account. i mean, wow. / miami would never ban woj, he’s clearly anti-lebron but never vulgar or blatantly disrespectful. (still can’t believe y! sports is the most read sports site on the internets)

  • JD

    that’s pretty funny!

  • T-Money

    Ironically, doesn’t that make Rabb the attention whore? The email wasn’t really controversial, he didn’t really get banned from the arena and he knows exactly why they didn’t grant him a pass.

  • JTaylor21

    Before the laker/kobe swamp rats crawl out, LONG…LIVE…THE…FU*KING…KING!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    T-Money: Nice find. The Heat PR staff would be insane not to ban this guy from the locker room.

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    They should ban me too cause all I have for mortgaging Wade’s future with two one man shows.

  • Pugz

    hahahaha

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I love when y’all get all intellectual and sh!t. Turns me on.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    FWIW – Raab is from Cleveland. That would explain the non-stop venom he spits towards LeBron. And Esquire clearly gives him the freedom to write whatever he wants however he wants.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Not being able to get credentialed by an NBA team for no clear reason is worthy of letting the world know about it, no?

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    The lack of undersatnding of consequence in Miami is astounding.

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I thought the clear reason was the continued disparaging remarks made about one of their players? Why do they need to have more of a reason? In actuality, they don’t need to give a reason, they can choose to ban whoever they want to…..and that includes unruly fans, who actually PAY to be there or a deranged hot dog vendor that might want to poison part of the fanbase.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Cheryl’s comment was actually mine. Although, I think she’d agree.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    I guess the Heat’s PR staff learned nothing from Nike’s Videogate.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    I guess the Heat’s PR staff learned nothing from Nike’s Videogate.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Bryan, I also think the fact that you have a gig with SLAM, you’re speaking from a guarded view. If some odd writer kept talking massive amounts of sh*t about Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah with every opportunity he/she had, would the Bulls be welcoming to that particular person and want them to be within shouting distance of either of those guys? Would ANY team want to subject one of their players, let alone a franchise player, to some non-descript writer with a vendetta. ‘Cause believe me, before today, and probably once the sun rises tomorrow, 99.9 percent of the population knew or will remember Raab’s name.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    *will NOT remember

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Cheryl, Woj writes disparaging remarks about LeBron on a regular. Has been for a very long time. It’s just cleaned up for public consumption…more “professional.” But that’s the only real difference between what Raab writes about LeBron and what Woj writes. The main difference is the outlets. The Heat don’t depend on Esquire for sports coverage, so banning Raab doesn’t matter to them. But, it does send the wrong message. On an NBA credential (and in the team media guide) it lists the types of things/circumstances that a member of the media can be banned for. Writing disparaging remarks about the team or the player — even if they are well within their right to do so — is not listed.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Eboy, if that writer was from Rolling Stone, no, I don’t think they would care. If that writer was from ESPN, there wouldn’t be much that they could do.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    B, just because you possess a press pass doesn’t mean you’re automatically “granted” access to an arena. You could argue that and chastise the organization for bi*ching out, but if you are blacklisted, you won’t be allowed entrance. There is no “law” that prohibits that. This I’m certain of. I heard some of those old head writers on ESPN a couple of weeks ago stating that today, there is such little respect that is showed to modern athletes, it’s abymssal. They brought up how 30, 40, 50 years ago, sports figures were shown the highest respect by sportswriters and they wouldn’t never write such scathing pieces about particular players and wouldn’t try to embarass guys over a personal vendetta. It was an unwritten code. I think it was Woody Paige that was talking and he was being backed up by the other guys on the show that day. Today, the lack of respect is EVERYWHERE (including right here on our beloved SLAMOnline)because there are so many unfiltered outlets. Not sure if it’s because the athletes today are so over-proccessed, the writers think they are way more important than they actually are or that sports in general have just become a mockery of the “glory days” of the past. I’m sure it’s a combination of all of them, but I’m not smart enough to sort through it all.

  • LeBron de Con

    Thank you Miami Heat for listening to my but-boy, EBoy, and banning the sports writer who dared call me a whore. As for the Constitution, I gave my morning constitution to the Cleveland fans. Did you see “The Decision?” hahahha

  • LeBron de Con

    I woke up this morning and asked, “What would momma want me to do?” Her only response, “I’m riding West.”

  • chazz michael michaels

    lol yeah bashing on your team’s star player isn’t the greatest idea… i wonder if this guy is sorry yet.

  • EtheKnickfan

    ^^^ hysterical

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    This is getting silly. The man had it coming. The best way for him to get back at the team is to just get credentialed for road games. Im sure the opposition would me more than happy to accommodate him.

  • EtheKnickfan

    @Lebron de Con—Im ridin West lol. Heard mama got a tat on her thigh with an arrow pointed to her cooch says “where the West was one”

  • EtheKnickfan

    everytime she rolls over on her stomach she yells “westsiiiiide” OK Im done.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    E, this guy obviously has to request game creds in advance so it’s at the discretion of the Heat if they want to grant him access or not. Now, had he possessed a league wide NBA credential, the Heat couldn’t do that as easily, if at all. Raab knows that the average reader doesn’t understand the credentialing process so he can paint a very damning picture of what happened. He’s not a “sportswriter” anyway, so in the bigger picture it doesn’t matter if he got banned, the issue is that he got banned for doing something that wasn’t especially egregious but more unflattering.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I don’t know, bro, his Twitter account is pretty damning. You know, for a “professional”.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Co-sign Myles. He said himself that it was only a matter of time before the Heat got at him. But while protecting themselves and LBJ, they gave this guy GREAT material for his book.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Twitter accounts can be interpreted as a persona, but when that persona is accompanied by vitriolic writing then the team is well within their rights to assume that such behavior will lead to more extreme outbursts. BY continuing to allow him in the building theyd essentially be encouraging him and his act. Cutting him off was a preventative measure. He deserved it and noted that it was a tenuous agreement very early in the process. Im sure hes not surprised.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Dude made an off-hand comparison of Lebron to Hitler for being nominated for Time’s person of the year. Perhaps you should rethink your stance, B. Unless trivializing what Hitler did to an entire population of people is your cup of tea. This is the type of ignorance I think those dudes on ESPN were referencing.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I couldn’t agree more, E. But I have a feeling that this guy is extremely intelligent and this is all by design. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    You ever hear the term “too smart for his own good”? Yeah, I think this dude is in the process of writing THAT book.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    The guy had it coming.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I wonder if he was the same dude that tackled the 8 year old Jet fan at the Browns game this past Sunday. Cleveland people stay classy.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I pooped my pants, its fun.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    ^^This WAS NOT posted by me!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Liar.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I’m not a fan of any team trying to cut-off access of the media. The team has the right to set standards for who is/not ‘allowed’, but it shouldn’t be based on if they like or approve of what the media writes/reports on. I do believe his comments were out-of-line for a professional, and I would understand if LeBron didn’t want to give him a personal interview, but I just don’t agree with banning him because they don’t like what he writes.

  • Sparty’s Law

    It’s sad when people get punished for speaking the truth.

  • T-Money

    Cmon now, the issue is not whether he likes LeBron. That has never been the criteria, some beat writers sh-t on their team constantly. The issue was that his attacks were ad hominem, offensive and unprofessional. There’s a very clear distinction. And Bryan, you’re just playing dumb at this point. You know he knows why he’s not welcome in that arena. And so does everybody else, he was looking for a publicity stunt to generate interest for his upcoming book and het got it. There’s nothing more to it, there are no rights to defend here, merely a privilege. Now whether that guy is a genius or not is debatable, he may be a helluva writer but his judgement is suspect… after all, he’s going batsh-t crazy because a basketball player decided not to play for his hometown team anymore and he chose to make that very basketball player the centre of his universe.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    From Tim Frank, NBA VP of Basketball Communications: “There’s an expectation of professionalism on both sides in the team-media relationship and the posts on Mr. Raab’s twitter account clearly fall short of that standard.”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Obviously.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com B-more Mike

    I Fu$k wit E-Boy because he’s a realist. All this long live the king stuff, STFU!!! Di$k slurpers. We are men here, right? Y’all take this stuff 2 far like the dude is perfect. At least E-Boy offers constructive criticism of his team. These Cleveland heat fans got me thinking this dude JESUS CHRIST!! Long live the king, I wish I would ever call another man king. GTFOH!

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    While I can’t blame the Heat for banning Mr. Raab, shout out to him for riding hard for his city in lieu of professionalism. That takes guts. Or, it’s just a byproduct of being a 58-year-old man that has seen his hometown teams suffer for decades and he just doesn’t give a damn anymore. I’m not from a city that has experienced sports failures at the level that Cleveland has. Thankfully, the Cubs aren’t the only show in town. Still, given the circumstances, I’m not going to bash anyone from Cleveland for taking this personally. Sure, from the outside looking in, it makes no sense and appears to be stupid, but most of the people who feel that way obviously have no sense of what loyalty means in reference to sports. It’s cool to be a fan of certain players, but you should always be loyal to your favorite team(s). That’s the way I came up. So I can appreciate and respect the passion of Cleveland sports fans.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com B-more Mike

    I’m a Kobe fan, but not 4 1 second do I get it twisted. These dudes think Lebron gon dap em down, put em in the Mabach & ride off. None of these dudes care about us, they really don’t. But we get on here call each other names, disrespect each other over some MFers that will never give you the time of day. I wish you could have face 2 face debates with these people & see if the tone would be different. I know some people feel the same way.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Dan Gilbert was right…ok, not really. Well…sort of.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Mudslide junction in my pants. Gooooeeyyy

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    ^^Very funny, whoever is doing this…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Media credentials are a courtesy provided by the league to encourage free advertising for its product through media sources. Media sources take this courtesy so they will not have to expend money on tickets, and then, in exchange, provide exhaustive coverage of sports leagues to their readers and viewers the generate more circulation, ratings or page clicks to charge more for advertising.
    If any party in the agreement feels they no longer want to continue this mutually beneficial arrangement, they can make that choice with no free speech ramifications. Moreover, if a team feels that a writers presence provides no real benefit to them, they can deny them the free access a press pass creates. That is why not everybody with a basketball blog is granted a media credential.
    This guy is not providing a benefit to the Heat. They have chosen to refuse him a credential. He has chosen to present himself as a victim when he really made a conscious choice to cross the imaginary journalistic line of good taste and reaped what he sowed.
    Come on, it’s silly to defend dude, particulalrly since Miami has not squelched most criticism of its team.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nupe
    This isn’t like your city council, or Congress cutting off media access.
    This is a privately run corporation refusing to allow employees from other privately run corporations to attend its events for free.
    That’s what it boils down to. While media outlets often perform important services, they are first and foremost businesses. Never forget that.

  • http://www.euroleagueadventures.com Nick Gibson

    Should Scott Raab be who Bron wants him to be?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Shut up with your reasoned breakdowns of media and capitalism, Allen.

  • BkNy

    What the hell happened to my comment? This site is pissing me off

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Breaking news: the Heat have banned Bosh from entering the arena. Upon follow-up, the PR department responded: “He knows what he did.”

  • T-Money

    Haha. I actually laugh at that one, Anton. Hit the glass, you softie, or we’ll make you pay your way in.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    The dook in my pants averages more rebounds than chris bosh

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=5493184 Jackie Moon

    LONG … LIVE … THE KING … ELVIS PRESLEY!!!

  • http://sdfjlkf.com Jukai

    Hey guys what’s going on in this comment section!!!

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=5493184 Jackie Moon

    @Jukai Nothin.

  • http://safjdklf.com Jukai

    Ah okay. I’ll be going now.

  • last dance

    YO EBOY. LET ME SAY IT SINCE NO ONE NOTICE. U COMMENT ON EVERY NEWS & RUMORS ON SLAM.. lIKE GET A LIFE U FIEND.

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