ESPN said Tuesday the pre-roll spot has been pulled -- perhaps to protect its stature in northern Ohio, where angry fans torched James jerseys after he said he was moving to Miami.
The sardonic promo features James wearing his uniform and playing a low-level ESPN employee struggling with a clogged copier. "SportsCenter" anchor Stuart Scott walks by and mocks his "Chosen One" nickname.
ESPN said the ad had been running in the days leading up to James' decision, in line with the network's propensity to tap into its archives and air relevant "This is SportsCenter" spots that humorously play off the news.
"Many of our "TISC" spots are evergreen, which gives us the flexibility to program them around current events," ESPN stated.
That means when an NFL quarterback gets ready to announce next month that he is likely returning for another season, ESPN will surely dust off a spot mocking his propensity to vacillate on whether he will retire.