How Chris Haynes went from Fresno's west side to sought-after NBA news breaker – Fresno Bee (blog)

Days after J.R. Smith’s epic blunder in the final seconds of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the last thing LeBron James wanted to do was revisit the moment.

But for Chris Haynes, an NBA reporter born, raised and educated in Fresno, LeBron opened up.

“It went viral? Damn cameras,” James replied to Haynes’ question, asked at a news conference prior to Game 3, about a video clip that showed his emotional reaction after learning the Cavaliers had a timeout remaining when Smith inexplicably dribbled out the clock.

“Yeah, pretty much,” Haynes said from the audience.

“I haven’t seen it. I’m not on social media right now,” James said.

“Could you elaborate a little more?” Haynes asked.

“You’re taking me back to Game 1?” James responded with a grin. “I finally got Game 1 out of my head and you’re taking me back, Chris? … Hold on, let me put myself back there.”

LeBron responds to viral video of him on bench in Game 1 reacting to learning Cavs still had a timeout late, “It went viral? Damn cameras!”

— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) June 5, 2018

With that, James launched into a lengthy, detailed response that gave NBA fans around the world keen insight into the thought process of arguably the greatest basketball ever during one of the most difficult moments of his career.

That exchange also illustrated how Haynes, in a short time and by an unconventional path, vaulted to the top of his profession.

The Fresno native’s rise from unpaid freelancer, one who relied on food stamps to feed his wife and family, to highly paid and sought-after NBA reporter — all in less than a decade — took another step Wednesday when news broke that Haynes will be departing ESPN after his

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