The morning the news broke that film footage of Jordan Crawford dunking over LeBron had been confiscated by Nike reps, I told a friend that the story was going to be huge. Anything LeBron = pageviews. Anything LeBron drives talk show traffic, riles up the talking heads at ESPN, and makes for good blog fodder.
I fully expected the story to go nuclear.
My friend said something along the lines of "nonstory."
Well, after the topic was covered by all the relevant ESPN properties — from sports talk to First Take to PTI and Around the Horn — it hovered around the internet for days after. We heard from Crawford, we heard from the kid whose film was confiscated, and we heard Nike's official comments. Twitter freaking blew up with comments about the story.
When my girlfriend told me she had discovered the story by stumbling onto it on the front page of MSN.com, I knew there was little media server space or column inches left before Dunkgate would have been mentioned by everyone in the entire world.
And it was all said and done until this last bit of news from Richard Deitsch's media column at CNNSI. Freaking Inside Edition wanted to talk to the cameraman!
Miller worked at the camp as a credentialed media member for Syracuse.com, which covers news in central New York. Before arriving in Akron — the trip from Rochester cost him $150, including food and gas for his 1995 Honda Civic — Miller called some contacts at ESPNU who told him they would be interested in some B-roll footage. He was working solely for the experience — an unpaid gig. Then came the dunk, the removal of the tape by Nike and a kid becoming part of a major story.
During the past week, Miller has done some print, radio and TV interviews, though he drew the line when Inside Edition requested him. He also blogged about what happened. Miller believes he is the rightful owner of the footage.
When it gets to Inside Edition level, things are officially out of control.