In the latest mental exercise on how to drag LeBron James into every bit of NBA controversy, the Los Angeles Lakers star’s name was mentioned in the recent bombshell report from the New York Times involving Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor. But it’s not for something the Hall of Famer said or did himself.
The exposé was made possible due to a recording of Nichols speaking her mind on a personal call being caught on a hot mic. The man she was talking to? LeBron James’ PR advisor Adam Mendelsohn.
The soundbite recorded during the NBA bubble last year revealed Nichols’ rant on how Taylor was only given the opportunity to cover the NBA Finals over her because ESPN was “feeling pressure” about their “crappy longtime record on diversity.” She was on a call with Mendelsohn because she was trying to request an interview with LeBron James and Lakers teammate Anthony Davis.
Rachel Nichols: “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else.” pic.twitter.com/aB5MifujuX
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 4, 2021
But the Times also revealed another portion of their conversation, one where LeBron James’ advisor Mendelsohn claimed he was exhausted in dealing with the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements.
“I don’t know. I’m exhausted,” claimed LeBron’s PR advisor Mendelsohn. “Between Me Too and Black Lives Matter, I got nothing left.” Nichols then laughed.
Mendelsohn was a founding member of More Than A Vote, a movement he started working alongside Maverick Carter and LeBron James himself. He has been personally offering insight to the Lakers star for over a decade already. Mendelsohn gave a statement to CNBC regarding his insensitive comments:
“I shouldn’t have said it or even thought it,” Mendelsohn said in an email.
“I work to support these movements and know that the people affected by these issues never get to be exhausted or have nothing left. I have to continue to check my privilege and work to be a better ally.”
It remains to be seen if this fiasco has put any strain on Adam Mendelsohn’s relationship with LeBron James now or going forward.