John W. McDonough/SI


  • With Lee Jenkins moving on to join the L.A. Clippers, Sports Illustrated takes a look back at the senior writer's best NBA profiles and features over the years.
By The SI Staff
September 18, 2018

After serving as Sports Illustated's lead NBA writer for the past eight years, Lee Jenkins is turning in his notepad and accepting a job with the Los Angeles Clippers as the franchise's Executive Director of Research & Identity.

Jenkins first arrived at SI in 2007, working the NFL and MLB beats before moving over to the NBA and becoming one of the most decorated writers in the business. He wrote over 70 cover stories during his time at SI and also landed the scoop of a lifetime when he delivered a first-person essay from LeBron James announcing his return to Cleveland.

While it's impossible to give proper due to all of Jenkins's profiles and features, the staff at SI has rounded up some of their favorite pieces by him over the years. To check out Lee's entire collection at SI, visit his author page or the SI Vault.

(The following profiles are in reverse chronological order).

• Inside Decision 3.0: LeBron Follows in the Footsteps of Legends (07/02/18). How did LeBron end up on the Lakers? A behind-the-scenes look. 

• Kevin Durant and the Dagger that Foreshadowed the Boom (06/12/18). The shot that delivered KD and the Warriors another title.

• Dwane Casey: Ironing Out All the Wrinkles (03/06/18). Despite a bumpy road, Dwane Casey keeps ironing out every crease.

• Isaiah Thomas: 'Best Year of My Career, Worst Year of My Life' (10/11/17). IT reflects on the highs and lows of his last year with the C's.

• Dwight Howard: What Happened to Superman? (09.19.17). How Dwight Howard went from a superstar to a cautionary tale.

• 'I'm Ready': The Text That Started a Dynasty (06.13.17). The Dubs can thank KD and Draymond for starting a dynasty in Golden State.

• Why Russ and OKC Put Their Trust in Sam Presti (04.11.17). How the Thunder's GM kept everyone's trust after losing KD.

• The Beard Untangles His Life and Game (02.28.17). Freed from distractions, James Harden is making history.

• Peak Greek: The Rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo (01.03.17). The NBA has never seen a player quite like the Greek Freak.

• Crowning the King: LeBron Wins 2016 Sportsperson (12.01.16). How LeBron delivered one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

• Joel Embiid: 'I'm the Process' (10.26.16). Laugh now, because Joel Embiid is going to be a problem.

• The Biggest Stop of Kevin Love's Life (10.20.16). It wasn't defending Steph Curry in the Finals.

• Russell Westbrook: 'I Was Never Going to Leave' (10.19.16). Why Russ is staying in OKC—even after KD is gone.

• LeBron Chases the Ghost of Michael Jordan (08.02.16). What's LeBron's true motivation? Basketball immortality.

• Craig Sager: Always on the Bright Side (04.26.16). Looking back at the broadcaster that brought all NBA fans joy.

• The Island of Kawhi (03.15.16). How Kawhi gave a second wind to the Spurs' dynasty.

• The Gifts and Ghosts of Lamar Odom (10.15.15). Examining the many talents and troubles of Lamar Odom.

• LeBron James: 'I'm Coming Home' (07.11.14). The first-person essay that changed the course of LeBron's career.

• Patrick Beverley: The X-Factor (04.14.14). You'll never meet a tougher player than Patrick Beverley.

• Chris Bosh Reflects After Near-Death Experience (09.23.15). A happy and healthy Bosh discusses a scary close call.

• Meet Nick U'Ren: The Warriors Staffer That Saved the Finals (06.12.15). How a little-known staffer gave Steve Kerr the reciepe for success.

• MKG's Voice and Jumper Still a Work In Progress (02.15.15). Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is still figuring out the hitches in his life.

• The Man Behind the Swag: Nick Young (01.14.15). How exactly did Nick Young become Swaggy P?

• Erik Spoelstra: From 'The Dungeon' to the Top (09.26.14). From the film room to the bright lights, Erik Spoelstra is finally shining.

• Joakim Noah: The Maestro (04.17.14). Joakim Noah orchestrates the Bulls on both end of the court.

• Anatomy of a Miracle: Ray Allen's Shot in Game 6 (12.18.13). Dissecting one of the biggest shots in NBA playoff history.

• The Many Complex Twists of Rajon Rondo (02.25.13). Trying to understand the NBA's toughest pound-for-pound player.

• LeBron Returns to Miami a New Man (04.14.12). What did LeBron learn from his first year in Miami?

• The Life of a Player on a 10-Day Contract (01.31.11). The life and travels of a fringe NBA player trying to make it.

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