Footage of LeBron James Getting Dunked On: Sports or Reality TV?

Sloan PivaCorrespondent IJuly 23, 2009

DENVER - JANUARY 18:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers appears annoyed after getting called for an offensive foul on Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets in the first half on January 16, 2006 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.  NOTE TO USER: USER expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

If the sports world has become so fickle that it concerns itself with so-called breaking news footage like "LeBron James Getting Dunked On," then there are serious problems at hand.

Nike is obviously part of the problem, because this story would have never been leaked to the press in the first place if not for an employee of the company confiscating videos of the dunk from James' camp attendees.

The question at hand becomes whether this whole situation was staged. Think about it: Everyone reading this article has previously seen or heard that LeBron got dunked on by some 21-year-old Xavier player. Everyone knew that, supposedly, all footage was confiscated by Nike reps.

Is it so unbelievable that this was all a big ploy by Nike, just to get people to turn on their computers and watch their main man get dunked on at his own camp? Yes, it is.

The reason why the video at hand is so poor in quality is probably because the person who actually filmed it wasn't even an actual basketball player.

It is obvious that the video was shot from the stands, most likely meaning that a friend or relative of some camp attendee had their iPhone readily available for filming.

After learning that the entire nation was going wild over LeBron getting dunked on, and furthermore that Nike confiscated all known video of it, the filmer obviously knew his options. 

It is alleged that there was a payout of at least $50,000 for any video of the play. So he called the founder of and bargained for a very legitimate paycheck, for his fairly illegitimate footage of one dude dunking near another dude.

One dude dunking near another dude is pretty much all that is visible. Otherwise, why would the video entail a big arrow near LeBron? If it was worth watching, it would be a shot from front row center, showing LeBron getting absolutely pulverized by a tomahawk slam.

No such luck, America. Someone cashed in on your need to watch such an inconsequential video, with such a big name attached to it.

Maybe this will make you realize that the age of sports fanaticism has been surmounted by the age of reality television.

LeBron James is the Most Valuable Player of the National Basketball Association, by far the greatest achievement one baller can be awarded.

But that means nothing when mainstream America tunes in to watch video of him getting humiliated. These days, viewers would much rather view disgrace than excellence.

For those arguing that the kid who made the dunk deserves his 15 seconds of fame, think again. He already got it, and it happened at the camp.

Google "Jordan Crawford," and all you will see are stories of his famous dunk. Other than that, he'll finish his last years at Xavier and pursue a career in the field he studied.

This story is all about a leak revealing LeBron's ego and Nike's ignorance. LeBron got dunked on, or allowed a dunk in his vicinity, or whatever. So what? The kid who slammed it home will never even dream of reaching the heights LeBron has achieved, so everyone should just get over it.

LeBron James, however, should get over himself. In his prime, would Michael Jordan ever lower himself to allow sponsors to confiscate kids' cell phone footage because someone dunked on or near him? 

No. He was the greatest ever, and he knew that no person, whether young or old, could take away his greatness.

LeBron clearly has that lesson to learn. But anyway, it is likely he will never know how it feels to be the greatest ever.