Scott Raab is a pretty big deal, hot-shot kind of magazine reporter. He wrote for GQ for a long time, then he hooked up with Esquire and he’s been writing for them for a time. Basically, when it comes to Cleveland-based interviewers in men’s style magazines, there’s Scott Raab and then there’s everyone else.
And since he’s from Cleveland and since he’s a big sports fan — check the Indians tattoo on his arm and the columns on Deadspin — it’s only natural that he’d want to write a book about LeBron James and how his leaving Cleveland affected him and the city. So that’s what he’s doing, while simultaneously filing regular columns for Esquire. The man owns the LeBron-left-Cleveland beat and his book is sure to be a winner.
Except for this one teensy-weensy problem that he’s encountered in Miami. From his latest post:
At 4:01 P.M. yesterday, I get this e-mail from Tim Donovan, head of media relations for the Miami Heat:
You are no longer welcome at our building and will not be credentialed moving forward.
That’s it. That’s the whole e-mail. So I send back an e-mail at 4:04 asking why.
Oh, super cool move, Miami Heat executives. Banning a well-respected author who’s covering the biggest NBA story of the year is a very interesting media relations tactic. It’s the kind of thing that makes the Heat even more likable.
Raab suspects that he may have offended some people involved with the Heat, particularly LeBron James who he called — and repeatedly calls — the “Whore of Akron.” Not the best nickname, probably, but certainly not the worst thing LeBron has ever been called. I’m no director of standards and decency, but if every person who wrote unflattering things about the Heat was banned from the arena, there’d be no press. Plus, with all those unsold seats, you’d think the Heat would want as many people in the gym as they can get.
Nonetheless, no matter what Raab got banned for, this doesn’t look good for the Heat. For a team that consistently gets slammed by the media as everything that’s wrong with the NBA, banning writers isn’t going to help. Unless, of course, they’re really embracing the Evil Empire thing. Then it totally makes sense.