Swoosh Denies LBJ Dunk Cover-Up, Unconvincingly

The flash, apparently official: Nike is now making the implausible case that the two hapless videographers at the LeBron James Skills Academy had flouted a longstanding, super-inviolate "no videotaping" commandment and therefore had to be frisked.

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer got a statement (and then went out of his way to leap chivalrously to LeBron's defense):

"Nike has been operating basketball camps for the benefit of young athletes for decades and has longstanding policies in place regarding what events are open and closed to media coverage," Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said.

"Unfortunately, for the first time in four years, two journalists did not respect our 'no videotaping' policy at an after-hours pick-up game Monday evening following the LeBron James Skills Academy."

This runs counter to everything freelance videographer Ryan Miller said yesterday. On a Syracuse.com blog, Miller provides a PDF of the camp's media policy (which doesn't mention any special restrictions on videotaping) and notes that the pickup game was not, in fact, after hours:

It was during the regularly scheduled "College Workout #3" portion of the LeBron James Skills Academy. That session ran from 8:30-10:15 on Monday night and the filming took place during that designated time slot.

So now we've apparently come to the fun stage of the story where the corporate factotum starts fibbing like mad, and the newspaper dudes condescend to the whole Internet. Awesome. And all we ever wanted was a grainy YouTube clip of the best basketball player in the world being turned momentarily into Shawn Bradley. We'll never get that now, but here, at least, is Jordan Crawford — suddenly the most famous baller in Xavier history, though he's yet to play a minute for the Musketeers — bearing witness:

I came down the middle. He just happened to be there. ... I was geeked about it, more than anything, just because it's LeBron.

Video of the interview below:

Nike officials claim media rules prompted confiscation of video of college player's pickup-game slam over LeBron James [Plain Dealer]
Ryan Miller's response to Nike's LeBron James Skills Academy statement [Syracuse.com]
EARLIER:
The Dunk Was "As Good As It Could've Been Hyped Up To Be"
LeBron Gets Dunked On; None Of Us Are Witnesses

PHOTOSHOP: Submitted by commenter XavierMusketeer