ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Sports Illustrated lead NBA writer Lee Jenkins has agreed to join the Los Angeles Clippers’ front office as the organization’s Executive Director of Research and Identity.

Sports Illustrated has released a story confirming the news, with a statement from Jenkins included. Jenkins says that he “would not leave [SI] for another outlet,” but “was offered an extraordinary opportunity to work in the front office of an NBA team and see the league I cover from a different angle.”

“Sports Illustrated called on my 30th birthday, the greatest gift of my professional life,” Jenkins says. “I was one of those kids who grew up running to the mailbox on Thursday afternoons. SI taught me to read, and then, to write. With dream jobs, reality often disappoints, but everything about SI only exceeded my imagination. I’ve worked alongside my idols, Tim Layden, Tom Verducci and S.L. Price, and with my friends, Michael Rosenberg, Chris Ballard and Greg Bishop. There is no honor in this business like sharing a page with them.

SI remains the ultimate platform for sportswriting and I would not leave for another media outlet. But I was offered an extraordinary opportunity to work in the front office of an NBA team and see the league I cover from a different angle. I’ve been privileged to tell a lot of triumphant basketball stories over the past decade. With Steve Ballmer and Jerry West, Lawrence Frank and Michael Winger, Doc Rivers and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, I’m going to try to help build one.”

Jenkins, 40, has been a senior writer at SI since 2007, and has been SI’s lead NBA writer since 2010. We’re seeing an increasing amount of writers being hired for front offices in professional sports, and that’s not very surprising because there are a lot of very smart sports minds in the journalism world. And this is something SI has dealt with recently as well- last September, the Toronto Raptors hired SI’s Luke Winn as Director of Prospect Strategy.

So, it’s a big loss for SI, but potentially a big gain for the Clippers’ front office. Jenkins joins Executive VP of Basketball Ops Lawrence Frank (the former Nets and Pistons head coach) and general manager Michael Wagner, as the Clippers look to get back on track.

[Photo Credit: Fox Sports]

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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