Fresh off his fourth NBA title, LeBron James is more popular around the league and with fans, than ever. However, citing a story that appeared in The Athletic and several other sources, Fox Sports Radio host Ben Maller said Friday morning that James is using that popularity for illegal business activities. In fact, Maller entitled his podcast on the topic, “LeCriminal”.
“LeBron has been accused of illegal business activities that are hurting his fellow NBA players,” Maller said. “This is a pretty big accusation.”
According to The Athletic story, as reported by Heavy.com Sports, an anonymous agent says James is using his pull to influence players to sign with Klutch Sports, which is owned by James’ agent Rich Paul.
“The worst thing that LeBron is doing is forcing this power with Rich Paul and what that is, in terms of, he’s a player, but he has prowess in the media space,” the source said. “His company Spring Hill, that’s awesome. Doing the movies and all of the projects, that’s so commendable. I love that. But now that they’ve jumped into the agent game, which the reality is, it’s illegal for a player, particularly if you’re in the state of California, to be licensed to represent talent.”
“Do we believe this story?” Maller asks his audience. “I’m shaking my head, yes. LeBron is so omnipresent now he is working the system and no one is going to stop him. I see this as a union issue more than anything else. Nobody in the union has the machismo to stand up to LeBron and its hurting mid-level players.”
According to a 2017 article in Bleacher Report though, James was investigated by the NBA after similar accusations were made when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was later cleared of all wrongdoing.
That did not stop Maller from going after James, however.
“Some players are just collateral damage in the hustle,” Maller said. “Kentavious Caldwell Pope lost millions of dollars being a good little soldier for Klutch Sports by going to the Lakers instead of an 80 million dollar contract with the Pistons. With the Lakers, he earned about 37 million. That’s a lot of money KCP lost because of this. He and other players like him are getting a screw job but there is zero chance the NBA rolls LeBron back on this because he has absolute power. As the English nobleman (Lord Acton) said ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.”
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at email@example.com.
DNVR Sports Files Injunction Against Bonneville Over Denver Sports Brand
“We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community.”
After Bonneville International unveiled new branding for its Denver Sports properties, digital outlet DNVR Sports has filed an injunction to stop the radio company from utilizing the brand and logos.
In a Twitter thread, ALLCITY Network CEO Brandon Spano claimed DNVR Sports has already seen listeners, viewers, and readers confuse the two brands. “We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community,” Spano tweeted.
“Our branding was created purposefully, to be different from the way sports networks traditionally looked,” he said in another tweet. “To represent the city of Denver in a simple way while removing us from the gloss and pretentiousness of sports media. To create something that brings people together.”
Spano added that ALLCITY sent Bonneville a cease-and-desist letter last week, but claims the company failed to respond, so an injunction has been filed.
The Denver Sports branding utilized by Bonneville — which encompasses 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver — features a black and white city skyline as well as the Rocky Mountains inside a hexagon with block lettering. The DNVR Sports logo is a rectangle, similar to the city of Denver flag, with the sun centered between the mountain peaks and a block “DNVR” below the rectangle.
The complaint filed by StudioIP LLC — the law firm representing ALLCITY — claims the branding used by Bonneville constitutes “trademark infringement, unfair competition, trade dress infringement, dilution by tarnishment, and tortious interference arising out of Bonneville’s trademark infringement of Plaintiff’s trademarks,” according to Westword.
Ray Didinger Returning to 94WIP
“Didinger will be a member of the new morning show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94WIP once Angelo Cataldi officially retires.”
Longtime Philadelphia sports personality Ray Didinger stepped away from his media roles at NBC Sports Philadelphia and 94WIP in 2022, but he couldn’t stay away forever.
Didinger will be a member of the new morning show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94WIP once Angelo Cataldi officially retires.
The 75-year-old returned to NBC Sports Philadelphia late in 2022 as a member of the Eagles Postgame show and decided to return to the venerable Philadelphia sports radio station as well.
Didinger will work on an as-needed basis for DeCamara and Ritchie, contributing to news surrounding the Eagles. Known for his yellow notepad, Didinger has covered the franchise for more than 50 years.
After his retirement, Didinger was the subject of an episode of NFL Films Presents… in December, at the time telling Cataldi he had stayed busy in retirement.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run.
“Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: I Don’t Do As Much Prep As You Think
“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you.”
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo would much rather go with the flow for his radio show than try and put everything together ahead of time and hope it comes out well.
Russo was the featured guest on the Golf Digest podcast The Loop, and hosts Christopher Powers, Alex Myers and Steve Hennessey first congratulated Mad Dog on his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Russo mentioned how he had written a short speech but decided against that after seeing the other inductees run long with their speeches.
Mad Dog was asked about preparing for his SiriusXM sports talk show every day, and he said he really doesn’t put a ton of work into putting a show together.
“On certain days a little more, because on Mondays I do that NFL recap so that takes a little while to put that together at 5 o’clock – probably a couple of hours,” Russo said. “Outside of that not as much as you’d think. I mean obviously I’m gonna follow what’s going on.”
“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you,” he added. “This segment do this, this segment do that. Sometimes when you sort of ad lib it, and you figure it out as you’re moving the program into the second hour and the third hour, it’s a better show.”
Mad Dog talked about how he likes that his radio show is the reverse of when he does First Take on ESPN or High Heat on MLB Network. He likes not having a rundown packed to the gills for his radio show.
“The radio is more of a host’s medium,” he said. “So it’s up to me what we’re going to do.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.