Nike Hands Over LeBron Dunk Tape, to General Disappointment

Nike says it will give back videos (see below) of LeBron James getting dunked on by college kid Jordan Crawford after the company confiscated them from two photographers at a recent skills academy.

The confiscation led to a PR flap that made Nike -- and Nike Basketball senior director Lynn Merritt (pictured) -- look ridiculous. The videos emerged -- inevitably -- online in the last few days, rendering Nike's magnanimity slightly less magnanimous than it looks.

Nike maintained a straight face in its press statement, which maintained the fiction that confiscating basketball tapes is somehow company "policy":

It was never about the play or the player, it was always about our media policy ... The interest in the tapes has greatly overshadowed the focus of the camp, which is to help young athletes improve their skills, and that is regrettable.
It was Nike's decision to take these tapes based on our media guidelines, which we will continue to enforce.
The merged video itself is grainy, shaky and low quality. It is impossible to tell who is who, or to even identify James, and the game itself is barely readable. The only clue that James has been subjected to an unusual event is the reaction of the crowd and the amazed laughter of the videographers. As AP put it:
There was general disappointment in Crawford's dunk among online viewers.
In other words, had this video gone online without Nike's interference, no one would have cared or noticed.