The price Jim Gray has to pay defending his dignity (or lack thereof)

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Jim Gray has now been put into a position to explain who actually paid him for working on the ESPN hour-long “The Decision” telecast last Thursday where LeBron James announced his intention to sign with the Miami Heat.

The Washington Post (linked here) quoted Gray in a story Saturday, allowing him to deny a Darren Rovell CNBC story that claimed James’ camp essentially paid him to toss the softball questions at their star client.

“I didn’t take a penny from LeBron or any entity connected to him,” Gray said, calling the CNBC story last week that has since been updated today (linked here) “100 percent inaccurate, wrong, totally false” and “irresponsible. . . . I would never take a nickel from somebody I’m interviewing.”

No one said anything about nickles. It was all about dollars.

As we heard in interviews prior to the Thursday show, Gray admits to coming up with the idea for the one-hour special. He admitted the same to the Post, but added that “the subject of money never once was even mentioned to me” in discussions with Team LeBron.

That’s not being a very good business man, is it?

Gray contends ESPN paid his airfare from L.A. to Connecticut and he plans to submit a bill of several hundred dollars for incidental expenses, though he said he is unsure whether the network or some others connected with the telecast will cover those costs.

Nice story. We’re not buying it.

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