Michelle Beadle Says LeBron James Wanted Her Fired from ESPN After 'The Decision'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 6, 2022

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Longtime sports reporter Michelle Beadle believes NBA superstar LeBron James tried to get her fired during her time at ESPN.

Appearing this week on The Sessions with Renee Paquette (h/t SI.com's Daniel Chavkin), Beadle divulged that James contacted her after she poked fun at his television special entitled "The Decision":

"I made fun of 'The Decision,' and I was one of about a bazillion people that did," Beadle said. "... This was a long time ago, I guess when I followed him, and I got a DM that was like, 'Why are you so mean to me on television?' And I just sort of laughed it off. I didn't even think about it."

Subsequently, Beadle said that LeBron wanted her fired from ESPN:

"Of course I took it personally. It was personal. He wanted me fired. He tried to do that. ... But then I found out after the fact, when all this sort of came out, I would get messages or I would get texts or videos from people being like—that kind of s--t was happening to them too. He was super petty, and he would try to have some sort of an effect, whether it would be small—whatever. Just an effect."

When James first became a free agent in 2010, he announced his free-agent decision in a televised event that aired on ESPN.

LeBron ultimately decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, famously saying, "I'm going to take my talents to South Beach."

That decision paid dividends for James, as he reached the NBA Finals in each of his four seasons in Miami and won two championships before returning to Cleveland and going to four more Finals in a row, and adding another championship to his resume.

LeBron then left Cleveland again for the Los Angeles Lakers, and he won championship No. 4 two years ago.

It is unclear if James had any real influence on Beadle's career, but just three years after joining ESPN in 2009, Beadle left for NBC in 2012.

She returned to ESPN in 2014 where she remained until 2019, and she is currently part of the San Antonio Spurs broadcast team.