Sports Illustrated senior writer Lee Jenkins has been hired by the Los Angeles Clippers front office as their new executive director of research and identity, Sports Illustrated announced on Monday night.
Jenkins has worked for Sports Illustrated for 11 years, and was hired in 2007 as an NFL writer. The 40-year-old has been a NBA writer there for eight years.
“On a personal level, I came to the realization that no matter how many player profiles I write, I still have a ton to learn about the NBA, and the best way to learn it is through immersion,” Jenkins told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “In our line of work, we ask questions from different angles, assemble information in different ways. We try to put it together like puzzles, until we’ve formed a portrait of a person. I’m going to try to bring that same process to the Clippers in hopes it will complement what their incredible group of evaluators already accomplish. This team is interested not just in what players do but who they are — how they’re wired, how they’re motivated — and that’s an area I love to explore.
“But I have to be honest with myself. This is all very new and there will be trial and error. All I know for sure is that the Clippers have the tools to build one of the great sports stories, and I’m excited to contribute.”
Jenkins is the second Sports Illustrated reporter in the past two seasons to make the jump to a NBA front office. Luke Winn was hired from Sports Illustrated by the Toronto Raptors in August 2017 as their director of prospect strategy.
Sports Illustrated managing editor Chris Stone said that they have already started looking for Jenkins’ replacement.
“Lee belongs to that long legacy of great SI lyricists and feature writers,” Stone said, via Sports Illustrated. “He has a remarkable gift for taking subjects that have been profiled and parsed innumerable times and surprising the reader with original, fascinating revelations. His stories were the gifts that kept giving for more than a decade.”
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