As Jim Gray has told it, it was his idea to make LeBron James’ free agent plan an hour special. He took the idea to James’ marketing agent Maverick Carter of LRMR, who then worked with William Morris Endeavor to put the package together in front of ESPN executives.
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.
If they had a sense of shame, that might actually be embarrassing.
It’s probably giving Craig James a few ideas, though.
The skinny: It might be taking a slight chance to have the Bulldogs this high when their quarterback has never taken a snap in a college game. But his top target, Green, might be the most dynamic receiver in all of college football, and Ealey was one of the SEC’s most productive running backs the final month of the season a year ago. About the time Ealey got going last season, Green was injured. Look out with both of those guys healthy.
Remember that Donnan had a background with option offenses at Oklahoma. Can you imagine what Georgia could have done running Hines Ward and Robert Edwards in some version of the Wildcat? Or how about Florida’s spread option?
The only downside would have been that Donnan would have taken his best wide receiver off the field.