Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated
Lee Jenkins joined Sports Illustrated and SI.com as a senior writer in September 2007 and he has written more than 100 features for the magazine and more than 30 cover stories across every major sport. Since 2010 his primary beat has been the NBA, and he has profiled the league's biggest stars, including LeBron James and Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. He wrote the annual SI Sportsman of the Year story about James in 2012.
Jenkins came to SI from The New York Times, where he covered the New York Mets and the New Jersey Nets, and was named the city's best new sportswriter by The Village Voice. Before that he covered UCLA basketball and football for the Orange County Register and the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets for The Colorado Springs Gazette. A San Diego native, Jenkins graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1999, which he attended on the Grantland Rice-Fred Russell Thoroughbred Racing Association Sportswriting Scholarship.
Jenkins says his favorite project at SI was the Oct. 25, 2010, cover story, Rolling Thunder, about the bond between Oklahoma City and its NBA team. Jenkins accompanied the Thunder to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, which every player visits when he arrives in town. "There is a real correlation between the bombing and the team," Jenkins says. "In the wake of the tragedy, Oklahoma City residents passed virtually every tax initiative put in front of them to change the image of their hometown. They made it possible to bring the NBA to a place no one thought it would go."
Jenkins lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Elizabeth, son, Austin, and daughter, Ainsley.