Former ESPN NBA Countdown host Michelle Beadle believes Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James got her fired from the show because she was critical of “The Decision.”
In 2010, James was a free agent and deciding between signing with multiple teams, including his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat. James announced his decision during an hour-long program on ESPN titled “The Decision.”
James chose to go to The Heat, where he won two NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013 alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. James’ decision to leave the Cavaliers is regarded by many as the beginning of the Superteam Era, in which top NBA players decided to play for teams stacked with talent, seeking a championship, instead of sticking with the team that drafted them. Other super teams during that time included the 2014-15 Los Angeles Clippers, who had Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and Blake Griffin, and the 2012-13 Oklahoma City Thunder, which sported Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kevin Durant.
Beadle appeared on the “Awful Announcing Podcast” earlier this month, where she said after she was fired by ESPN and replaced by Rachel Nichols, she began to hear whispers that she was fired due to James’ anger at the criticisms.
“I found out after (I was fired),” Beadle, who now works as a broadcaster for the San Antonio Spurs, said on the podcast. “In all the chaos that ensued after I left, all this other information started coming out. I kind of got wind of it as I was leaving. And then more stuff came out and I was just like, ‘What a crap show.’
Beadle followed up, saying the four-time NBA Champion is a powerful figure across the league.
“Yeah, you know, he’s (James) a powerful dude,” Beadle said. “I mean, there’s no getting around that he is an empire and an entity upon himself. All the respect for building such a powerful entity on a name and doing it well. So yeah, people are going to listen.”
This isn’t the first time Beadle has allegedly blamed James for getting removed from NBA Countdown. She made the same claims in late 2021. Beadle also added that Nichols may have had a hand in her departure from the show.
“I mean look, she’s ultimately not that powerful,” Beadle said about Nichols. “But I think some of the narrative that was being allowed to play out, specifically in the New York Post, at the time. I knew where it was coming from. We all knew where it was coming from.”
Nichols hosted the show until 2021 when she was removed after getting caught on audio making disparaging remarks about Maria Taylor after she was selected to host ESPN’s 2020 NBA Finals coverage.
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