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Jim Gray Paid For By LeBron James

Were you as confused as I was with the softball questions tossed at LeBron James? What about the 6 minutes – and 18 questions – it took Gray to finally ask LeBron what team he would be playing for(even Gray looked uncomfortable with this)

There’s a good reason. LeBron James paid the bill.

ESPN didn’t play down one part of the business arrangement of the deal — that Gray, the former ESPN and NBC reporter who is now working on a freelance basis, was James’ preferred interviewer. But the network didn’t say, and now says they didn’t know, that Gray’s travel and payment for “The Decision” show was being paid by the entity set up by Team LeBron and not by ESPN, as CNBC has learned.

“We aren’t privy to Gray’s arrangement,” said ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys. “He came as part of the package. We accepted Jim knowing that we would have extensive time for our people to interview LeBron, which was bulk of the show.”

The worst play-by-play voice in the history of the Cavaliers proves to be the worst fake interviewer as well. Truly great journalism.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.