On Tuesday, Esquire’s Scott Raab was denied media credentials by the Miami Heat’s head of media relations, Tim Donovan. Raab was informed by Donovan, “you are no longer welcome at our building.” It’s a fascinating way to deal with LeBron James’ critics, though surely Donovan is aware if such a policy was extended to those disparaging Chris Bosh, the Heat would risk playing to empty arena.
I suspect that Tim objected to something I wrote yesterday. I referred to LeBron James as the Whore of Akron ” maybe that was it. Or maybe Tim doesn’t think much of Herman Melville, which wouldn’t shock me at all. Tim is severe, unsmiling, more of a Nathaniel Hawthorne fan.
But I can’t blame Mr. Donovan, because it shouldn’t be his job to credential me. I’m writing about LeBron James and the Miami Heat as a guy from Cleveland. I don’t think the good folks in the Cavs media-relations office would credential a Miami writer who referred to Anderson Varejao as the Colatina Cocksman. Not that I think Tim Donovan’s doing the right thing; I think he is just doing what he gets paid to do.
I’m more interested in the first part of Tim Donovan’s e-mail: “You are no longer welcome at our building.” The Heat play Wednesday and Friday; I plan to attend both games as a civilian with a ticket in hand ” God knows there are plenty of tickets to be had ” and it’s probably too late to buy a LeBron James mask. If I’m lucky, I might be the first fan in NBA history to be tossed out of an arena for writing.