Storytelling with Lee Jenkins: Jason Collins, 29 seconds and Rajon Rondo

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

What goes into telling a great story? For this week's Drive & Kick podcast we talked to one of the best in the business to find out how he crafts such illuminating profiles.

Lee Jenkins from Sports Illustrated joined the Drive & Kick for a great conversation that touched on everything from his newspaper days to profiling NBA superstars like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Here's a rundown of the topics we covered:

  • The Jason Collins debut and why Lee's preconceived notions going to the arena were all wrong.
  • Why the Nets may be the perfect situation for Collins. Jenkins called his signing "an organic movement within the locker room."
  • We talked a bit about our newspaper backgrounds and why the best story is the one you finish on deadline.
  • On writing profiles, Jenkins says, "The thing about the NBA that I appreciate is the name on the back of the jersey is still important."
  • Ray Allen's shot and the 29 seconds that defined last season. Jenkins thought about writing it immediately after the Finals but decided to wait until there was more time to get into every aspect of the play.
  • Interviewing Gregg Popovich and the time Pop acted out everything that happened in those 29 seconds.
  • Choosing subjects to write about and the lessons of Lamar Odom.
  • There's lots of Rajon Rondo talk and why Jenkins' story almost didn't run.
  • Why Rondo chooses to shut out the media. "He's so proud of being real."
  • Who would Jenkins like to profile next? Hint: He plays in Chicago.

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