According to several sources, and Lee Jenkins himself, the LeBron scoop was made possible thanks to secrecy and Sports Illustrated's reputation
LeBron James' "Decision 2.0" basically shattered the media -- the two-time NBA champ left the Miami Heat to head back to his home state in pursuit of a long-awaited championshiop and a re-energized relationship with northeast Ohio.
But perhaps equally as noteworthy as LeBron's homecoming was the scoop from Sports Illustrated 's Lee Jenkins. It was, as our own Kyle Luke put it, "airtight." Almost everyone in the news had little to no idea what was going to happen the day before. "Coming up on Fox, still waiting." (Via WJW-TV ) "And Will, we're still waiting." "We are still waiting." (Via WKYC ) "The King of the Court is taking his time, isn't he." "Taking his sweet time, Josh." (Via WEWS ) So how exactly did Jenkins get such a major scoop while other outlets were in the dark? Well, it started simply enough -- with a pitch.
The Washington Post writes, "Jenkins, who has covered basketball for SI for four years, had proposed a story about the next phase of James's career ... Last Saturday, Jenkins e-mailed his editors and said that the story they'd discussed months earlier was a possibility."
According to Deadspin , Jenkins was careful, only referring to his story idea as that "thing" in his e-mail to Stone. Jenkins was in Las Vegas on Wednesday, met with James Thursday and knew his decision that night.
What's interesting is that Sports Illustrated's editors found out about James' decision the same day most of us did -- only a few hours earlier. (Via WEWS , Expedia ) Both Jenkins and Stone said the idea to tell James' story as a first-person essay came from the King's camp.
But it was S.I.'s previous reporting that led to that suggestion.
Jenkins: "It was a unique and probably unorthodox situation, but not that different maybe from the Jason Collins situation or Jabari Parker that we had also." (Via Sports Illustrate d ) Jenkins is referring to the Jason Collins first-person essay -- in which the NBA veteran announced he is gay -- and the sit-down interview with Jabari Parker when he announced he was leaving Duke and entering the 2014 NBA Draft. (Via Sports Illustrated )
In the aftermath of the Lebron's decision, Stone told reporters James ultimately trusted Sports Illustrated to not make a "circus" out of things -- much like how his announcement in 2010 turned out. (Via ESPN ) A writer at The New York Times criticizes Jenkins for using the first-person formula to tell James' story, writing, "The magazine should have pressed for a story that carried more journalistic heft." But that same writer also offers praise for the end result saying, in part, "The impact of James’s words about going back to Cleveland, and of getting them out first, will probably outlast the manner in which they were rendered."
- Nets Owner Insists He Won't Sell Team
- NBA Power Rankings Week 1
- NBA Preseason Power Rankings
- Kevin Durant Top 10 #BADD35T Moments!
- Boston Celtics 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Brooklyn Nets 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- New York Knicks 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Philadelphia 76ers 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Toronto Raptors 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Chicago Bulls 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Cleveland Cavaliers 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Detroit Pistons 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Indiana Pacers 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Milwaukee Bucks 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Miami Heat 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Charlotte Hornets 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Atlanta Hawks 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Orlando Magic 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Washington Wizards 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- San Antonio Spurs 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- New Orleans Pelicans 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Dallas Mavericks 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Memphis Grizzlies 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Houston Rockets 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Denver Nuggets 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Minnesota Timberwolves 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Oklahoma City Thunder 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Portland Trail Blazers 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Utah Jazz 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Los Angeles Clippers 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Phoenix Suns 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Los Angeles Lakers 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Sacramento Kings 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Golden State Warriors 2014-15 NBA Season Preview
- Phil Jackson: Spike Lee Doesn't Know Anything About Basketball
- LeBron James Forgets He Doesn't Play for Miami, Sets Pick on Cavs Teammate
- Everybody Wins in NBA's Massive TV Deal
- NBA Top 100: Defending the Picks
- NBA Top 100 Snubs
- Warriors' New Arena Looks Like Toilet
- Wizards Primed for Conference Finals
- James Harden Calls Himself 'Best All-Around'
- Kevin Love Trade Impact
- Noah & Pierce Scuffle Sparks Benches Clearing
- NBA Free Agency: A Furious 72 Hours
- Breaking Down LeBron's Cavaliers Contract
- How LeBron James' Return Impacts His Legacy
- Meet Wizards' Signing Paul Pierce
- LeBron James and Cleveland: Is All Forgiven?
- Jason Kidd's Departure Best for Nets
- How SI Landed The LeBron Scoop We Can't Stop Talking About
- LeBron James to Cleveland: 'I'm Coming Home'
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 1, Cavaliers Select Andrew Wiggins
- Cavaliers Top Overall Pick: Andrew Wiggins
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 2, Bucks Select Jabari Parker
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 3, 76ers Select Joel Embiid
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 4, Magic Select Aaron Gordon
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 5, Utah Jazz Select Dante Exum
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 6, Boston Celtics Select Marcus Smart
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 7, LA Lakers Select Julius Randle
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 8, Sacramento Kings Select Nik Stauskas
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 9, Charlotte Hornets Select Noah Vonleh
- 2014 NBA Draft Review: No. 10, Philadelphia 76ers Trade For Dario Saric
- 'Cramp-Gate' All the Rage at NBA Finals
- San Antonio Spurs: 'We Fixed Our Air Conditioning'
- Spurs Rally for 110-95 Win Over Heat in Game One of NBA Finals
- LeBron James Cramps Should Worry Heat
- Spurs Know How to Handle the Heat
- Watch Out NBA, 'Screaming' Steve Ballmer Is Coming
- Sterling to Sell Clippers to Steve Ballmer, Drops Lawsuit Against NBA
- LeBron James Ripped by Gatorade
- Donald Sterling Tarnished All He Touched
- Black Athletes are Not Charity Cases
- Donald Sterling Apologizes, Says He Was Set Up
- Kevin Durant's Emotional MVP Acceptance Speech
- Michael Jordan Admits Racism: 'I Was Against All White People'
- NBA Bans Clippers Owner Over Racial Comments
- Jabari Parker Declares for the NBA Draft
- David Stern, Alonzo Mourning Lead 2014 Hall of Fame Class
- LeBron James Gets Own Soda Flavor
- Michael Jordan: Phil Jackson can Succeed with Knicks
- Carmelo Anthony Welcomes Phil Jackson Hiring
Article: Copyright © 2014.
"How SI Landed The LeBron Scoop We Can't Stop Talking About"