ESPN's Arash Markazi went along for the ride at a party that Miami Heat forward LeBron James threw for himself at a Las Vegas nightclub last weekend that featured -- among other things -- scantily clad women, a crown-shaped cake, and a flying waiter. The account was posted on ESPN.com Wednesday morning but then was promptly taken down without explanation, until this statement was released:
The story should have never been published. The draft was inadvertently put on the server before going through the usual editorial process. We are in the midst of looking into the matter.
However, through the power of the Internet, we're still able to read Markazi's story. And while we wish it had more naked ladies, drunken brawls, dwarves parading in court jester outfits, and dancing bears, it's really just a story about your typical 25-year old millionaire doing what he do. An excerpt:
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About a dozen security guards direct us to a roped off section on the dance floor of Tao next to a couple of apparently nude women in a bathtub full of water and rose petals. James, now wearing sunglasses in the dark club, immediately stands up on the couch and folds his arms high on his chest and nods his head. He smiles as he looks at the dozens of people crowded on the dance floor. Noticing him, they stop dancing and snap pictures as the DJ screams out, "LeBron James in the building!" and plays LMFAO's "I'm in Miami."
Of course, this story will only fuel the LeBron Haterz with more hate juice (mmmmmm, hate juice). But at this point, the guy could rescue drowning kittens in a pillowcase that's been set on fire and he'd still be reviled by people who don't call themselves Heat fans. The real story here is that ESPN pulled the story and gave a vague, open-ended explanation for doing so. Of course, ESPN is owned by Disney, so it's probably because Mickey Mouse and Cinderella cannot coexist in a world where basketball megastars drink shots of Patrón off a stripper's ass.
Still, this isn't a revelation. NBA stars have been living la vida Sex Pistols since time immemorial. Wilt Chamberlain is now better known for nailing thousands of women more than for his Hall of Fame basketball career. But it's awesome to know, once LeBron settles into his new digs here, what kind of hoedowns we can expect on South Beach on a nightly basis following every Heat game. It's going to be epic. Which is why LeBron and Miami are truly suited for each other.
So, LeBron James parties like a slam-dunking, triple-double dropping Keith Richards with giant chocolate cakes and naked women in bathtubs. The man spoke the truth when he said he'd be taking his talents to South Beach.