We talked to several ESPN people yesterday, and as ridiculous as it may sound, the official line on the LeBron James–Arash Markazi spiked story incident (that is, that it was an accident, that it was never supposed to be published, that it wasn't a reaction to an angry LeBron camp) appears to be true. It really was an accident — due, in part, to time-zone differences, the relative newness of ESPNLosAngeles.com, and ESPN.com EIC Rob King's vacation — and Markazi really did never identify himself as a reporter. It's impossible to blame everyone for being extremely skeptical of ESPN's motives, but, amazingly, this time, they're not actually lying. Tommy Craggs at Deadspin points out that ESPN's reasons for not running the story are still dumb, and he's right: Heaven forbid Markazi actually witness something happening and write about it. It doesn't really matter: It's not like you can't still read the story a million other places anyway.
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