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#pounditSunday, May 22, 2022

LeBron James tried to get ESPN personality fired?

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

ESPN has often been criticized for a perceived bias towards LeBron James. It turns out though that James may have actually tried to see just how much influence he had with the network.

Michelle Beadle of The Athletic said in an episode of her “What Did I Miss?” podcast this week that the Los Angeles Lakers star tried to get her fired from ESPN. Beadle’s guest on the podcast, retired Hall of Famer and ex-ESPN host Paul Pierce, brought up that there was a rumor about James supposedly doing so.

“He tried,” replied Beadle. “He did try, yep. He did try to do that. I was like, ‘Wow, I’m honored that I’m even on your mind. Thank you very much, sir. That’s a weird place for me to be.’

“So, my stuff with him started out not personal,” Beadle continued. “I made fun of ‘The Decision’ like 400,000 other talking heads did at the time, and I think for some reason, that was it. So, it wasn’t personal to begin with it. It’s obviously, now it will always be personal, but it is what it is.”

Beadle began at ESPN in 2009 as a co-host of the show “SportsNation” and quickly worked her way up the ranks. She eventually got her own podcast on the network and served as a guest host for several different ESPN programs. Beadle briefly left ESPN to work at NBC from 2012 to 2014 before returning to The Worldwide Leader. She began hosting “NBA Countdown” in 2016 and joined the crew of the show “Get Up!” in 2018. Beadle’s time at ESPN ended in 2019 when she was removed from “NBA Countdown” and eventually agreed to a buyout with the network.

Since Beadle specifically mentioned “The Decision,” James’ infamous ESPN special in 2010 where he announced that he was joining the Miami Heat, it seems likely that James’ alleged efforts to get her fired occurred during her first stint at the network. That would have been long before Beadle became as well-known as she would later be.

Perhaps there is more to the story than Beadle simply clowning James for “The Decision,” which every sports analyst everywhere did indeed do at the time. But we do know that Beadle has also drawn the ire of other superstar athletes before.

H/T Lakers Daily

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