This profile of LeBron James was reported and written in 2011 for Port, a new London-based men’s magazine, under odd circumstances: Nike paid for the writer’s travel expenses and a portion of his fee.
The story that came out of the trip was not what Nike had expected—a rep was apparently “furious”—and the magazine, under pressure from the Swoosh, not only spiked the piece but tried to extract a promise from the author not to publish it elsewhere.
"Nike," the editor told the writer’s agent, "would … hit the roof if that was put in the public domain." The story is below. A postscript from the author follows.
Just Undo It: The LeBron James Profile That Nike Killed