CLEVELAND – It’s an an hour or so before the Cavs tip-off against the Miami Heat on a Monday, and Jefferson is seated at his locker deep inside Quicken Loans Arena, methodically slipping on his socks and shoes. Earlier in the day, Uninterrupted, the athlete-centric media platform co-founded by Jefferson’s teammate LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter, announced that Jefferson’s increasingly popular podcast, Road Trippin’ with R.J. and Channing, where he, Channing Frye and Fox Sports Ohio sideline reporter Allie Clifton talk about, well, anything with various Cavs players for an hour or so during team road trips, would officially be housed under its umbrella.
And while that’s a big deal for a podcast only 11 episodes old, Jefferson just wants to make sure everyone keeps things in perspective.
“I believe this is more of a partnership than it is, hey, now we have Uninterrupted so we’re successful,” Jefferson says with a wry smile. “We were doing something well, and they wanted us under their umbrella, and we believe that they can improve our outreach as to who we can get to interview and talk to.”
Jefferson is fiercely proud (and somewhat protective) of his audio phenomenon, a pet project he’d had floating around in his head for some time before approaching Clifton with it in January. Jefferson arrived in Cleveland as a free agent ahead of the 2014-2015, and Frye, who he’s long known as both are Arizona products, was shipped over at the trade deadline the following season.
The two have a rapport similar to a married couple entering their late 80s (Frye can often be found on Snapchat asking Jefferson why he’s so cranky), and their personalities fill up every inch of whatever room they happen to be in. So when Jefferson approached Clifton with the idea, with Frye included as his partner, and asked her to take on hosting duties, she was unsure how it would go.
“I was a bit hesitant just because of how dynamic and how dominating their personalities are,” says Clifton, who has covered the Cavs since 2012. “I thought to myself, ‘Am I going to be able to keep up?’ But then I thought, this is something that hasn’t been done before and it’s an opportunity that really could help excel me in many different facets as well.”
Jefferson’s concept was simple: bring on teammates during the immense amount of downtime NBA players have on the road and allow them to talk about whatever the hell they wanted to.