Arguably the most popular sports magazine, Sports Illustrated has been a staple of excellence for decades. Now, however, the magazine may find itself in expensive trouble due to the possibility that one of their articles was not 100 percent accurate or truthful in it's reporting.
On February 28th , the magazine's website and it's March 5 print edition published an article on dismissed UCLA forward Reeves Nelson, a talented yet troubled 6-9 forward that didn't work out at the college level. In this article, titled "Not the UCLA Way", Nelson was generally described as "a classic bully, targeting teammates who weren't as athletically gifted as he and tormenting the support staff." The article also went on to list numerous examples to back up this claim, including instances where Nelson allegedly urinated on a teammate's bed and stepped on another teammates chest during practice.
The truth of these statements, however, appear to be in doubt as Nelson has stepped forward and filed a $10 million lawsuit against the magazine, citing defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress over what was falsely reported in the article.
To make matters worse for S.I., many of the players that Nelson supposedly victimized have also stepped forward on his behalf, 18 in total according to the lawsuit, claiming that the majority of the 'bullying' instances cited in the article either didn't happen or was blown way out of proportion.
Also, Nelson is claiming that the author of the article, George Dohrmann, did not ask him about any of the instances described in the article. Instead, Dohrmann used comments from Nelson that were in reference to his actions just before he was suspended and dismissed from the team last December for insubordinate behavior.
Nelson, who played professionally in the Lithuania Basketball League for two months before leaving to prepare for the NBA draft to be held in June, is seeking a jury trial to clear his name.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.