David Stern tried to stop ESPN, LeBron James from pushing through with ‘The Decision’
Eight years ago, “The Decision” of now-Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was one of the most controversial TV broadcasts in sports entertainment. Recently, it was revealed that then-NBA commissioner David Stern tried to stop James and ESPN from pushing through with it.
Ian Thomsen, the author of “The Soul of Basketball,” spoke about his interview with Stern and current commissioner Adam Silver with regard to James and ESPN’s “The Decision.” It turned out that Stern wasn’t totally feeling the idea of broadcasting James’ monumental move. Thomsen said, via The Lowe Post Podcast, as transcribed by LeBronWire:
“Adam on the one hand was understanding of LeBron and the predicament he was in and Stern was more the hardline guy that this was a bad thing,” Thomsen said. “It didn’t really surface but you could sense they had different views of it. I think that helped draw David out and say that hey ‘this was a terrible thing that happened and we tried to stop it.’”
In Thomsen’s book, he wrote:
“‘It was terrible,’ Stern would say. ‘It was terrible on its own. It is fair to say that we knew it was going to be terrible and we tried very hard for it not to happen.'”
The show took only 10 minutes but became of one the highest-rated broadcasts for ESPN. After which, James was tagged as the most-hated man in the league. His decision bore two championship rings and more importantly, he discovered the perfect formula to win — a formula that he would utilize in his return to Cleveland.