View Full Version : Heat ban Esquire writer from the arena

Basketball Fan
11-17-2010, 11:14 AM

You have probably heard by now that the Miami Heat are not a very popular team, especially among many media members. One of those people is "Esquire" writer Scott Raab, a Cleveland native who has been covering the team for the magazine's website and has plans to write a book on James and the Heat.

In his latest missive, Raab dropped a bomb of surprising news:

At 4:01 P.M. yesterday, I get this e-mail from Tim Donovan, head of media relations for the Miami Heat:

"Scott: You are no longer welcome at our building and will not be credentialed moving forward. Tim"

At first glance, this seems like a massive overreaction. Plenty of writers have criticized James and the Heat throughout the last few months, including Yahoo!'s own Adrian Wojnarowski. Yet while Raab's not alone, few can match the rancor he's directed at James since he left the Cavs. Andrew Sharp has collected a number of his tweets at SB Nation, and here's just a taste:

But they haven't quit. Look in the mirror, motherf***er. You're a f**king loser and always will be. RT @KingJames Sanchez is wearing them down

Very nice, Scott, and very professional. Raab is a massive sports fan who obviously doesn't care much about offending people -- the man has a tattoo of massively racist Indians mascot Chief Wahoo on his arm, after all -- but at some point "sports analysis" becomes "barely veiled and destructive hatred." The Heat have the right to keep Raab out of their arena, of course, and the NBA seems to support their decision. According to an interview with Waiting for Next Year, Raab has been denied a league-wide press credential by the head office.

Still, there seems something wrong with denying press credentials to a writer from a national magazine based on some especially heavy criticism. Esquire isn't a major sports magazine, so the Heat don't depend on their coverage for publicity, but they're also a major publication with a great reputation, no matter the quality of Raab's columns. They deserve some respect, even if they've given the Heat none in return.

Banning Raab is a weird reaction by the Heat, but they also have an unprecedented situation with the national media. Most NBA teams do whatever possible to get wide coverage, good or bad. Miami gets so much attention, though, that they can ultimately afford to pick and choose which outlets cover them on a regular basis.

It's true that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but good press remains preferable. Losing Esquire won't make the Heat any less of a story among other outlets. While this move sets a bad precedent for the future, it's also partially the media's own fault. Without wall-to-wall coverage from every possible source, the decision to ban Raab wouldn't be possible.

11-17-2010, 11:26 AM
This isn't about bad publicity.
'Look in the mirror, motherf***er. You're a f**king loser and always will be.' - that's not bad publicity, it's just tasteless ramblings and has nothing to do with proffessional press.
Grats to Heat on having the balls to do it.

Basketball Fan
11-17-2010, 11:27 AM
I agree the Heat made the right decision here

11-17-2010, 01:47 PM
Yip, hard to blame the heat for that.

11-17-2010, 01:51 PM
Jeez, this guy over here... bitter much?

Basketball Fan
03-30-2011, 04:13 PM
No wonder this fool was banned

LeBron Watch
As The King leaves behind the Cavs for Miami and shakes up the future of the NBA, Scott Raab chronicles the entire saga as only a heartsick Clevelander can

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Photo credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty

March 30, 2011
CLEVELAND Got my hair cut yesterday. I'm here in my old hometown, and I needed a special cut, something to deliver a message to LeBron James, my nemesis. I'm writing a book about James the Whore of Akron and the Cavaliers and the Heat played on Tuesday night, their final meeting of the year. Thanks to serendipity, I had a seat three rows behind the Heat bench, so I wanted my head to represent my feelings. Literally.
There's a problem when you're an old white man looking for that kind of haircut several problems, actually. The historical role of the barber shop in an African-American neighborhood is singular, complex in ways I'm too ignorant to parse; I do know enough to say that a strange white man strolling into a black barber shop is a strange white man. So Jimi Izrael, a writer and also an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University, took me to his shop and introduced me to his barber, Dmitri Sumbry.
Dmitri's a great barber and a passionate Cleveland sports fan. He shares my disdain for LeBron, and he worked hard, for nearly three hours, to razor QUITNESS onto my pale noggin. But my hair is white, and it was hard to read. Jimi had to run over to a beauty-supply shop and bring back some make-up pencils. Artist that he is, Dmitri went with the blood-red:

It was a great game, the sort of catharsis unique to sports and other fine arts. The Cavs rose up to smite the Heat, Cleveland fans enjoyed a rare and precious swig of vengeance and joy, and eventually soon, I hope the red will wash out of what hair I have left. All in all, a wonderful night.
But something Jimi Izrael said stuck in my brain, and echoes still: "Don't make me your Negro tour guide."
I've spent weeks asking African-American pundits to talk with me on the record about race for my book men of national stature not because I think race is necessarily crucial to understanding LeBron and The Decision and the reaction to it, but because it would be dumb and dishonest to deny race is some part of it, and a part of how NBA fans, black and white, view the game.
So far, I've asked six men to speak with me for the book. All six have declined. I think there are various and valid reasons for that my public vitriol toward James, my book's title (The Whore of Akron), a reluctance to cede editorial control but I think Jimi nailed it: I'm asking folks I don't know, folks who don't know me, to serve as my Negro tour guide. Twenty-plus years of working with some of America's best editors and writers, yet I still don't need two hands to count my African-American friends in the business. It takes no hands to count to zero.
Whatever this says about American culture or the nature of journalism, it's a personal indictment first of all, a measure of how walled off and how comfy with being walled off I truly am. I don't think about that, and because I don't, I'm certainly not about to even try to do much about it. After all, without Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Louis Armstrong, and Kanye, I wouldn't be the writer I am. So it's all good. I'm cool.
But I'm not, and it's not. I'm thrilled the Cavs won. I'm grateful to Jimi and Dmitri. But I'm feeling pretty low, too, wondering what any of us can do to break down these walls. All I know how to do is write.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/the-side/lebron-james/lebron-james-race-card-5481203#ixzz1I7DpWk57

03-30-2011, 05:40 PM
I can't believe esquire pays that guy. Calling LeBron the whore of Akron, real classy... Honestly I kind of want the Heat to win the title just so this guy has to go through it.

King Tuts Tomb
03-30-2011, 08:25 PM
I listened to an interview with Scott Raab a few months back just to try and understand where he was coming from. I could almost sympathize with him until he said he wasn't a Cavs fan until 2008! He didn't follow the team and didn't care for them until they were championship contenders, then jumped on the bandwagon because he wanted to be a part of a title team.

Now he gets paid by Esquire to blog about how LeBron stabbed him in the back, as well as writing a book about it. I'd say he's made out pretty well in the deal and he's basically exploiting someone else's popularity for his own profit.

King Tuts Tomb
03-30-2011, 08:36 PM
For anyone interested, the interview is from Hang Up and Listen, the best sports podcast I've heard.


King Tuts Tomb
03-30-2011, 08:37 PM
Whoops, double post.

03-31-2011, 01:42 AM
Interestingly enough, I think the part about "Don't make me your Negro tour guide" is pretty honest and could be a good stepping stone for an important discussion. Funny how we discard someone's entire body of ideas because they are an a$$ in another way.

03-31-2011, 02:05 AM
I can't believe esquire pays that guy. Calling LeBron the whore of Akron, real classy... Honestly I kind of want the Heat to win the title just so this guy has to go through it.

Well, let's not get carried away...

03-31-2011, 03:01 AM
Well, let's not get carried away...

Meh, I don't hate the Heat like most people seem too. I'd much rather see them win over Boston/Chicago/LA

03-31-2011, 11:44 PM
Meh, I don't hate the Heat like most people seem too. I'd much rather see them win over Boston/Chicago/LA

I know it's not likely, but I would love to see OKC go for the gold. Their my favorite side team in the league. Pacers > Thunder though, just to avoid confusion.

04-02-2011, 08:26 AM
Wow, that guy is a low life.

Still trying to figure out how it is "weird" Miami won't give him press credentials. Funny, a simple report on a low life losing his credentials and the press tries exaggerates the story insinuating Miami is trying to censor any negative reporting. What a joke.