Anyone who watched the LeBron James free agency three-ring circus on ESPN last night had to be thinking the same thing — who in the hell came up with this ridiculous idea for a show? And where in the world did they dig up Jim Gray? The LA Times has the story:
Gray said he saw James’ business partner, Maverick Carter, and Emanuel during one of the games of the NBA finals. He suggested James do an hourlong show devoted to his decision. He subsequently saw Carter and James at a restaurant after the game, and they discussed the idea.
“What Maverick really liked is that he could raise a lot of money for charity,” Gray said on the radio show.
Emanuel called Carter the next day to follow up — suggesting that the announcement be used as a fund-raiser to benefit charity.
ESPN agreed to donate the time, sponsors committed about $3 million — which Nike has pledged to match. Proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
So it was Jim Gray’s fault! And Ari Emanuel helped him pull it off! Well, LeBron’s move to Miami might mean the Lakers’ dynasty goes up in smoke, but at least someone in Hollywood got a piece of the action.