Co-executive producer of TMZ, Charles Latibeaudiere hit the airwaves to talk about the dunk that no one saw…. until today! The soap opera which has run for the last ten days will reach it’s season finale at 6:45 ET when TMZ.com (and the TMZ TV program) will air cell phone footage of Jordan Crawford cramming in LeBron’s face. Nike confiscated footage from the cameras that were rolling but they didn’t know this cell phone was filming, blah, blah, blah. Just show us the dunk already so we can forget about it five minutes later. It’s a dunk. It’s not the second coming of Arnold Schwarzenegger or a cookie that doesn’t make you fat. Let’s get it on, already. Latibeaudiere joined JT The Brick on KLAC to discuss the scene at TMZ when the tape arrived, that they’ll try and find LeBron for a reaction, and why they waited to release the footage after acquiring it yesterday.
Take us through the scene at TMZ when you got a hold of this tape:
We get a lot of tapes, lot of videos in to the newsroom. Sometimes we get a lot of sex tapes and things, let me tell you, we are just a bunch of guys who are sports fans in there and this tape brought everyone running around. The guy who got the video in had it up on his desk and there were about eight guys who gathered round at his desk and played it over, and over, and over again, and saw Jordan Crawford come down the lane and dunk right in LeBron’s face. It’s awesome because it’s the tape that everyone’s been talking about and nobody’s seen it.”
Where did this tape come from if Nike took away all the rolling tapes?
“Nike went around and confiscated the video that they knew was shot, what they didn’t know is there was someone else there who shot it just on their cell phone. Apparently, Nike guys haven’t discovered that cell phones have video cameras as well; this person had it on a cell phone. I wish it was a camera that was right underneath the hoop where you could see the look on LeBron’s face, but it’s awesome. You can see Jordan come down the lane, and after he gets dunked on, LeBron is kind of standing there and you can tell something just happened that he didn’t wanna have happened, and ‘Oh crap. It’s on video too.”
Why are you waiting until Wednesday afternoon / evening to release it?
“Here’s the problem: we got it in really late today (Tuesday) and if we would had put it up on the web tonight, we’d rather have it out tomorrow and more people are gonna see it. People are gonna talk about this for a long time; people have been talking about this for ten days and they never saw it. There’s definitely news value in this piece, people have been wanting to see it, and quite frankly, the story really became why did LeBron and Nike shut this thing down? They actually made it a bigger story; if the video had just come out that day nobody would be talking it about it anymore. It would be over and done with. They actually created this story by yanking the tape and not letting anybody see it. What’s the big deal? Everybody gets dunked on at some point.”
Are you going to find LeBron to get a reaction from him?
“We’re gonna try and find him somewhere and what’s the big deal? What’s the big deal? I think, at this point, once the video comes on I would hope LeBron’s just gonna say, ‘You know what? It was a great move by Jordan, I hope the kid’s gonna have a great career,’ and move on. That would be the smart thing to do, if he wants to continue to stonewall everybody, I think that’s gonna look bad for him. Whatever he does, as long as in 2010 he signs with the Knicks, I’ll be fine.”