Michelle Beadle is spilling tea on her new podcast.
Beadle returned to sports media this week, after a hiatus that spanned over two years, with a podcast for The Athletic entitled “What Did I Miss?” On her second episode, former ESPN colleague Paul Pierce as a guest, where they discussed his firing from the Worldwide Leader. Beadle also brought up the time LeBron James tried to get her fired out of alleged sensitivity to how she covered his infamous “Decision” saga.
“There was a rumor that [LeBron] got you fired from ESPN,” Pierce said.
“He tried,” Beadle responded. “He did try to do that. I was like ‘I’m honored that I’m even on your mind. Thank you very much for that, sir. That’s a weird place for me to be.’
“My stuff with him started out not personal. I made fun of ‘The Decision’ like 400,000 other talking heads did at the time, and I think for some reason that was it. It wasn’t personal to begin with. It obviously now will always be personal. It is what it is. But I also am very comfortable with not liking people. I think that’s what makes us all healthy. It’s the people that pretend they like everyone – you can’t trust them.”
The mechanics of how James tried to get Beadle fired from ESPN, and when, are still unclear.
Who did he call? What were the meetings like amongst Bristol brass? Did he have a replacement in mind? These are all questions that remain unanswered.
Beadle worked for ESPN in two stints – she hosted “SportsNation” from 2009 through 2012 before leaving for NBC Sports. She returned to ESPN in 2014, resumed hosting “SportsNation,” and eventually landed as host of “NBA Countdown”, before exiting the company again in 2019.
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