Discovering LeBron James, Brad Stevens and Kawhi Leonard with Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman looks back at his career which centers on meeting notable basketball figures early in their lives.

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Jeff Goodman started his career after graduating from the University of Arizona covering college basketball recruiting. He discovered that patrolling this middle ground allowed him to look up, to the NBA, and down to AAU where it’s possible to form early connections with players.

He continues to cover basketball at all three levels 26 years later. He knows LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum from meeting them during their earliest years. Leonard gave him his first major interview at San Diego State and he watched James and Tatum in AAU. Cedric Maxwell hosted him on his CLNS Media podcast this week to reminisce on that career arc.

Goodman, now covering basketball for Stadium and CLNS from the Boston area, couldn’t believe when he received a call in 2013. The Celtics hired Brad Stevens as their 17th head coach. Jeff remembered the first time he discovered the now-heralded head coach he continues to cover.

Jeff Goodman looks back at his various early connections formed with eventual professional basketball stars. One of them was an unsung Butler head coach who caught his eye for his unfazed reaction to a major upset. That coach eventually got named Doc Rivers' replacement in Boston, Brad Stevens. Listen to all of Goodman's discovery tales in his full episode on the Cedric Maxwell Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpEvETjQXDw____________________________________________________________________________ For More Celtics Content: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmp3… For More Patriots Content https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqX7… *******************************************************Check out over 200 podcasts from CLNS Media here: https://clnsmedia.com/*********************************************************Come Chill With Us on Social Media: Celtics Twitter – https://twitter.com/CelticsCLNS Patriots Twitter- https://twitter.com/patriotsclns Twitter Main- – https://twitter.com/clnsmedia Celtics Instagram – https://instagram.com/celticsCLNS Main Instagram – https://instagram.com/clnsmedia Facebook- https://facebook.com/clnsmedia Pinterest- https://pinterest.com/clnsmedia LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/company/clns… Tik Tok – https://www.tiktok.com/@clnsmediaSubscribe to CLNS’ Celtics All Access Here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmp3… *************************************************** ABOUT CLNS’ CELTICS COVERAGE Welcome to the CLNS Media Network’s YouTube channel for Boston Celtics basketball. CLNS Media is the leading online provider of audio/video coverage for the NBA’s winningest franchise. Get complete inside access to the Celtics at TD Garden, the Auerbach Center, and everywhere on the road. CLNS Celtics credentialed insiders Cedric Maxwell, Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen, Jeff Goodman, Mike Petraglia, Nick Gelso, Sierra Goodwill, Josue Pavon Bob Ryan and Jimmy Toscano provide instantaneous news and analysis all in real time, as well as full access to complete videos from the players, coaches, ownership and everyone else on Causeway Street.

“I was actually at a game his rookie year … at Southern Illinois,” he said. “They win the game on a half court shot, and what does Brad do? Nothing. No emotion. Zero emotion. He shakes hands and walks off, I’m like who is this dude?”

ESPN sent Goodman to cover the introduction at Boston’s practice facility. He learned then, a career-long writer, he would appear on Sportscenter. That TV appearance put him on track to becoming a prominent on-camera, sideline analyst for the network before following the Ball brothers to Lithuania during their infamous, unconventional road to professional basketball.

Jeff Goodman tells the story of his trip to Las Vegas during 2014 when the NBA world awaited LeBron James' decision in free agency, when he'd eventually return to the Cavaliers. Goodman expected Stephen A. Smith to fill Sportscenter the next day after working the previous one, so he hit the town with his friends and had the Vegas experience. He woke up at 4 a.m. to hit the bathroom, when he got the text. He'd be covering for Stephen A. all day. With no way out, he got on camera and immediately saw the backlash online. For his full conversation with Cedric Maxwell, listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpEvETjQXDw____________________________________________________________________________ For More Celtics Content: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmp3… For More Patriots Content https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqX7… *******************************************************Check out over 200 podcasts from CLNS Media here: https://clnsmedia.com/*********************************************************Come Chill With Us on Social Media: Celtics Twitter – https://twitter.com/CelticsCLNS Patriots Twitter- https://twitter.com/patriotsclns Twitter Main- – https://twitter.com/clnsmedia Celtics Instagram – https://instagram.com/celticsCLNS Main Instagram – https://instagram.com/clnsmedia Facebook- https://facebook.com/clnsmedia Pinterest- https://pinterest.com/clnsmedia LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/company/clns… Tik Tok – https://www.tiktok.com/@clnsmediaSubscribe to CLNS’ Celtics All Access Here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmp3… *************************************************** ABOUT CLNS’ CELTICS COVERAGE Welcome to the CLNS Media Network’s YouTube channel for Boston Celtics basketball. CLNS Media is the leading online provider of audio/video coverage for the NBA’s winningest franchise. Get complete inside access to the Celtics at TD Garden, the Auerbach Center, and everywhere on the road. CLNS Celtics credentialed insiders Cedric Maxwell, Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen, Jeff Goodman, Mike Petraglia, Nick Gelso, Sierra Goodwill, Josue Pavon Bob Ryan and Jimmy Toscano provide instantaneous news and analysis all in real time, as well as full access to complete videos from the players, coaches, ownership and everyone else on Causeway Street.

Connections don’t always promise access. Goodman couldn’t get LeBron James to talk about his rumored helicopter ride from Springfield after watching Bronny play before a Celtics game. Leonard doesn’t remember him, but Goodman used that experience to talk to him through the common connection.

Jeff Goodman went to San Diego State to conduct the first major Kawhi Leonard interview for a major publication. He waited and waited and waited. Finally, Leonard arrived 45 minutes late from the RMV, so Goodman was surprised with what came next. Years later, he recounted the relationships he's built with current NBA players at a young age alongside Cedric Maxwell. Listen to their full conversation here: https://youtu.be/rpEvETjQXDw

“I went up to him and said hey, I’m doing a story on your former coach,” he remembered. “No problem. Spent like 10 minutes with me … Kawhi talking about other people, he will do. Kawhi talking about himself, he has no desire.”

Goodman and Maxwell also debated the Kevin Durant experience one year later. Max questioned why Durant left a situation where he was assured winning and continued front-line status. Goodman backed his decision to go to the Nets, comparing it to his own career leaps as both media and basketball have moved away from talent staying in one location. Max also re-told his story of what the former reward was for winning Finals MVP.

Jeff Goodman and Cedric Maxwell weigh how Kevin Durant has changed since Goodman covered him in his early days. As we near the completion of his achilles recovery that knocked out his first year in Brooklyn, how will we remember him and his Warriors run? One year ago it came to an end with his crushing injury and the Raptors' first championship. The CLNS Media Network is the leading provider for video/audio content. CLNS is a fully credentialed member of the media with access to all NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB teams & venues.———————————————————————————VISIT US AT https://clnsmedia.comFor CLNS Media Production Studio, go to http://youtube.com/clnsmediaFollow CLNS Media on Twitter – @CLNSMediaFollow CLNS Media on Facebook – http://facebook.com/clnsmediaFollow CLNS Media on INSTA – http://Instagram.com/clnsmediaDownload the FREE CLNS Media mobile app for iOS & GooglePlay

Goodman also told the story of his on-air appearance from Las Vegas in 2014. As he staked out LeBron’s free agency decision, ESPN told him Stephen A. Smith would take the following day’s TV appearances. When Stephen A. backed out, Goodman needed to take the air all day after a night out in Vegas.

Subscribe to the Cedric Maxwell Podcast on all platforms here and CLNS Media on Youtube and DailyMotion for coverage of the NBA’s return.