Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Updated: July 10, 11:49 AM ET
Nike confiscates LeBron camp tapes
ESPN.com news services
AKRON, Ohio -- What happens at LeBron's camp stays at LeBron's camp.
A minor controversy erupted at the LeBron James Skills Academy on Monday night when two videographers recorded a pickup game in which Xavier's Jordan Crawford dunked on James.
Gary Parrish reported on CBSSports.com that a Nike representative confiscated tapes of the dunk after conferring with James.
A representative with Nike, which runs the camp at the University of Akron in James' hometown, made no mention of Crawford's dunk. He said the tapes were confiscated because videotaping of after-hours pickup games at the camp is not allowed.
"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," Nike spokesman Derek Kent said on Wednesday.
Ryan Miller, who videotaped the dunk and had his tape confiscated, detailed the events to CBSSports.com.
"[Nike Basketball senior director Lynn Merritt] just said, 'We have to take your tape,' " Miller said. "They took it from other guys, too."
Miller, who is a freelancer, was at the camp in part for ESPNU. He also was getting material for Syracuse.com. Miller, who attended Syracuse, had been part of ESPNU's Campus Connection program, which uses college students to report on various sports events at their campuses. The tape that was confiscated belonged to Miller, not ESPN, and he is not an ESPN employee.
Miller said he had been filming all day and had his tapes confiscated only after Crawford's dunk over James.
"LeBron called Lynn over and told him something," Miller told CBSSports.com. "That's how I knew his name was Lynn. LeBron said, 'Hey, Lynn. Come here.' "
Minutes later, Miller said Merritt demanded his tape.
"There's nothing I can think of besides LeBron just not wanting it online," Miller told CBSSports.com. "It's a good story to tell people, I guess. But then again, I'm kind of pissed. I lost my tape."
A spokesman for James said he had no comment.
The camp features 80 top basketball prospects from around the nation.
Crawford said his dunk happened in the first 20 minutes of a game that lasted about two hours and did not prompt any reaction from James.
"We just went on playing," Crawford said Wednesday. "It was exciting just to be playing on the same court as him. I can see why he is so great at what he does."
In an interview on "ESPN First Take" on Thursday, Crawford said he didn't realize the magnitude of his feat until he noticed the reaction of other players at the camp.
As for the tape not being available for public viewing, Crawford said: "It's really not a big deal to me."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.