Norby Williamson, ESPN’s vice president of production, said in a conference call Wednesday that LeBron‘s long-time manager Maverick Carter presented the idea to the network late last week and requested Jim Gray to be the interviewer. The broadcast will be done from ESPN’s campus in Bistol, Conn., with LeBron and Gray on camera via satellite.
The King’s decision will be announced in the first 10 to 15 minutes of Thursday’s show, and ESPN said it will have control over how they will cover the announcement, with analysts Michael Wilbon and Jon Barry joining host Stuart Scott to ask LeBron questions throughout the segment.
Said Williamson: “We have complete editorial control and direction, with the exception of what will come out of his [LeBron's] mouth.”
Though Williamson would not disclose the location of where Gray will interview James, Newsday‘s Alan Hahn reported that James will be shooting out of Greenwich, Conn., where James’ friend and part-owner of the Nets, Jay-Z, owns a home.
While the network has signed on for the special, it won’t hesitate to report news of LeBron’s decision if someone else breaks it. ESPN will report news if someone else breaks it. [@richarddeitsch, Newsday]