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Michelle Beadle Says LeBron James Tried to Have Her Fired By ESPN

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Michelle Beadle has reemerged in sports media, with a new podcast for The Athletic aptly called What Did I Miss? with Michelle Beadle. During Friday's episode with Paul Pierce, her former ESPN colleague, the two alleged that LeBron James once tried to have her fired from the network.

After holding a televised special called The Decision to announce his departure from the Cavaliers for the Heat, James caught plenty of flak from people around the sports world, Beadle included. She acknowledged Pierce saying that James tried to have her fired from her ESPN job, and indicated it is because of things she said about The Decision.

“He tried,” Beadle said. “He did try to do that. I was like, ‘Wow, I’m honored that I’m even on your mind. Thank you very much, sir. That’s a weird place for me to be.’”

Beadle said that the original issue with James wasn't personal, but it shifted after this incident.

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“My stuff with him started off not personal. I made fun of The Decision like 400,000 other talking heads did at the time. I think for some reason that was it. It wasn’t personal to begin, obviously now it will always be personal. It is what it is. I'm very comfortable with not liking people.”

The two quickly shifted to other topics, without giving more backstory as to how James attempted to have her fired by ESPN. 

Beadle had two separate tenures with the company. She originally hosted SportsNation from 2009 to '12, before taking a job at NBC. She returned to ESPN and SportsNation in '14, and became a host of NBA Countdown as well as Get Up at its launch, alongside Mike Greenberg and Jalen Rose. She negotiated a buyout with ESPN in 2019.

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