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Jim Gray reflects on LeBron, the 'Decision'

7/11/2011

Jim Gray, who interviewed LeBron James during The Decision, joined The Dan Patrick Show and looked back on the fallout from the one-hour special. Gray said he purposely didn't ask LeBron about his choice prior to the broadcast, but could tell that he wasn't going back to Cleveland, judging from his body language.

Gray also admits that he didn't see the backlash coming. Perhaps it's because he claims this was all his idea. Sports Radio Interviews has the transcript:

What criticism has surprised him the most since The Decision:

Just that there is so much of it. This after all was just a television show. I think what had probably happened is that everybody in New York and New Jersey were hoping it was the Nets and Knicks. He had meetings with them and the folks in Los Angeles, the folks in Chicago, and the people back in Cleveland, everybody had their hopes up. When he finally decided on Miami all the people in all those other cities were disappointed because they all wanted him to play there. There’s only one place you can play at a time. I think it just got built into such a thing where there was a letdown in all these other cities. I’m surprised that it still gets the attention that it gets. I’m surprised at the reaction when you go to certain cities and he does to play in certain cities and they’re booing. A lot of those cities didn’t even have a chance to get him. I don’t think that anybody could’ve foreseen what has gone on.

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Why he believes it wasn’t a celebratory thing with LeBron:

Well I think it was hard. I think it’s tough. I mean he’s from there. It’s where all of his friends are and all of his roots. I think he tried his best to figure out a way to stay a Cavalier. It became hard for him to recruit anybody to come and play. Up until that morning or the evening before he said he had an open mind and was trying to figure out where to go. Chris Bosh wasn’t coming there, Dwyane Wade wasn’t coming there, and Chris Paul was a possibility of a trade going on and it was impossible for anybody that he wanted to play with, to make the team better, to recruit to the Cavaliers at that moment. He just decided I guess, and I can’t speak for him and I can’t tell you what all of the groundwork and all of the thoughts were for him to make his decision, he has to do that, but I just think it was a tough thing. Was it a celebration? Look there was no good way I guess to leave Cleveland. He had a lot of roots there and he tried very hard to win and at the end of the day it was hard.

Gray went on to say that if he could do it all over again, he would. "We’d all make it better."