In fact, only a lucky few can say they saw LeBron James, reigning NBA MVP and the leading heir apparent to Michael Jordan’s throne, on the receiving end of a dunk courtesy of Xavier sophomore Jordan Crawford.
That’s because a Nike official confiscated tapes from a pair of cameramen who were shooting games involving James and several college players Monday night at the LeBron James Skills Academy.
One of them was freelancer Ryan Miller, who had been filming for roughly 15 minutes — including footage of the high school prospects attending the camp — when Crawford dunked on James. Miller told FOXSports.com he was approached by Nike basketball senior director Lynn Merritt shortly after the play and asked to relinquish his tape.
“The worst part is I’m not even sure I had the shot of the dunk,” Miller said. “They might have taken it for no reason.”
After initially declining FOXSports.com’s request to speak to Merritt on Wednesday, Nike issued a statement later in the day.
“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. 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.”
On Tuesday, Merritt told a handful of reporters covering the event that the tape was confiscated because it was against the camp’s rules for media to film any of the pro players participating.
At the time, James was playing with Cavs teammates Darnell Jackson, Tarence Kinsey, Daniel Green and Christian Evenga.
So in the absence of any video evidence, we turn to Crawford himself for a description of the censorship-worthy jam.
“I was on the right wing and went down the middle. I got past Danny Green and LeBron was waiting under the basket,” Crawford said. “I don’t think he thought I was going to dunk it, so he jumped late. It was two-handed.”
Crawford said he didn’t even fully realize what he had done until afterward.
“Not during the game, but I was geeked afterwards about it,” Crawford said. “Everyone was talking about it.”