When it was first announced that Jim Gray was the one who’d be interviewing LeBron James during The King’s One-Hour Self-Love Fest, my first reaction was “whazzah?”
Gray, whose career has been in decline ever since he awkwardly bombarded Pete Rose with gambling questions on live TV, seemed like an odd choice for an ESPN special. Why wouldn’t ESPN use one of their in-house NBA TV personalities for the biggest interview of the year?
Well, now we have our answer. It appears that Gray was the one who came up with the idea, and proposed the interview to LeBron during game 2 of the NBA Finals. This revelation came during Gray’s appearance on the Dan Patrick Show.
Here’s a summary of the interview from the show’s website:
Jim Gray told us that he pitched the 1-hour announcement special idea to Maverick Carter and LeBron James during game 2 of the NBA Finals.
Gray explained that he saw LeBron’s marketing guy Maverick Carter and super-agent Ari Emanuel at Game 2 of the NBA finals. Gray said he told Carter he wanted to do the interview and suggested they buy an hour of television.
So, this thing has been in the works since the NBA Finals?
The fact that it’s been planned out for so long, and that Gray (a down-on-his-luck sports broadcaster who used to be a big deal) is involved just reeks of opportunism and borders on shady, icky territory. In addition to being witnesses, we are also all saps, apparently.
[Jim Gray Pitched LeBron Decision Show On June 6] SportsByBrooks