And are there times where you aren’t wired in? Is there any sacred time where you’re off your phone?
Ah, man, that’s tough. [laughs] I mean… No.
Does that drive you crazy at all?
No, I love it! Because if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t be doing it.
I assume you don’t track your screen time?
They give you mandatory reports, so I have to see them. But I don’t put much stock in them.
What’s your screen time look like?
Um, it usually averages around 16 to 17 hours.
I’m not proud of it. I mean, again, it’s not something I put on the resume, but it is what it is.
Have you ever had a situation where you were stuck somewhere and you got some news that you couldn’t report on because you were on a plane taking off or something like that?
There’ve been some close calls. There’s definitely been some that I’m having to push out literally as I’m taking off. There’ve been some major stories that I’ve worked on while I’ve been on flights. Thankfully there’s WiFi on flights now. I remember last year in free agency, the Thabo Sefolosha to Houston signing, I got a text that came through SMS rather than iMessage, so I didn’t get the notification until I landed.
Was it too late?
It was too late. The signing had come out. I was definitely bummed out for like an hour and then onto the next.
You’re having to be wired in all the time—has that ever gotten you in trouble with your family or gotten you in trouble on a first date? Or do people just know that comes with the territory?
My family definitely is understanding. There definitely have been instances where I’m out with friends and you have to take a call for 15-20 minutes and you come back and you definitely feel like there’s some angst, like, What is he doing? But at the end of the day, I think that most people do have an understanding.
At this point, you have established relationships with players. Do you ever hear from them being like, “How the hell did you get that news?”
[laughs] There definitely are times when you hear—it doesn’t even have to be players. But I’ve tried to allow that to be so organic—the goal is to be on brand and consistent. So like you’re spending time around these guys, checking in on them, seeing how they’re doing. But yeah, I mean, there definitely have been times where I’ve gotten the, “How the fuck did you hear this?” That’s how you know you’re onto something.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned about maintaining relationships and creating a network? What is it about you that makes you so successful at it?
It just comes down to being honest, being genuine, being someone that people can trust. Early on, the goal was not to take shortcuts and not to burn bridges, not to be too excited to break a story. Of course, you want to break a story, but it’s just that understanding, even now I have to sometimes remind myself that it is a process. Think more big picture. That is the balance for any young person in any profession: balancing your desires and wants with what is realistic and the actual time frame of success, or of a relationship. It’s understanding you’d rather have a long-term relationship than something that lasts a year or two years.
How many hours of sleep do you think you’ll get this week?
Let’s say tonight I get six hours, hopefully. Let’s say like three hours of sleep Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday—that’s 15. I would say around 20 to 21.
Well, good luck. Make sure you take some breaks in there. I’m worried about you.
I’ll be fine, man. It’s go time. I’m ready.
Grilling Jim Gray, Who Grilled Everyone From Mike Tyson to LeBron James
Known for his knack of popping up whenever history was about to go down, Gray was there for everything from the Dream Team scrimmages to Tyson biting Holyfield’s ear.