James Goldstein
Born (1940-01-05) January 5, 1940 (age 81)

James F. Goldstein (born January 5, 1940) is an American businessman who attends over one hundred National Basketball Association (NBA) games each season, typically in courtside seats, including approximately 95 percent of home games for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. He also travels from city to city to watch games, especially during the NBA playoffs, and often attends post-game press conferences. His passion for the NBA has been featured in USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and ESPN the Magazine.

"He has so much invested in our sport," Former NBA commissioner David Stern said. "He probably has the largest investment of any fan in America, so we get a kick out of him. He has got quite a flair, and we love him as a sort of a superfan."[1] It was reported in 2020 that Goldstein made his money through real estate, specifically via packaging mobile home parks and suing municipalities in the interest of ending rent control. Goldstein refuses to disclose his source of income.[2]


The son of Nanette (née Gamse) and Milwaukee department store owner, C. Ellis Goldstein.[3] Goldstein said he began watching NBA games as a 10-year-old.[4] At the age of 15 he was hired to keep game statistics by the Milwaukee Hawks.[4] "Once I did that and sat courtside for the games, I was totally hooked", he said. "My entire life has been devoted to professional basketball since then. I have such a passion for the game. I think there's more athleticism displayed in basketball than in any other sport."[5] Goldstein graduated from Nicolet High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he played on the basketball team. He then attended Stanford University and has remained in California ever since.[6]

Having attended over 2,000 games, Goldstein befriended several current and former NBA players, including Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Sam Cassell, and Dennis Rodman. He claims to have no favorite team, in spite of his Lakers and Clippers season tickets. He describes himself as a fan of the NBA in general.[7]

Goldstein refuses to disclose how he made his fortune or his net worth. The Wall Street Journal speculated that Goldstein made billions in real estate (notably Century City in Los Angeles).[8] When asked, he typically responds, "Let's just say I had some investments that worked out pretty well." "I try not to think about the cost," he said. "It's worth it to me."[5]

It was reported by the Hollywood Reporter in 2020 that Goldstein made his money in mobile home parks, by "packaging groups of properties into investment vehicles and then suing municipalities...if they thwart his attempts to end rent control." Carson, California's city attorney Sunny Soltani referred to his tactics as "litigation terrorism," accused him of building his fortune "on the backs of the most vulnerable people in society," and estimated cities have spent millions to fight him.[9]

He has never married, nor has had any children. He has stated that he does not believe in marriage.[10][11]


Goldstein's house, known as Sheats Goldstein Residence, has been featured in Architectural Digest, DOLCE magazine, The New York Times, Robb Report, and Town & Country. The house was designed in 1963 by John Lautner, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. Goldstein purchased the property in the 1970s from previous owners who did not keep the house in good condition. Goldstein commissioned Lautner to make changes and improvements to the house. Below the main residence is an installation by light artist James Turrell known as "Skyspace" or "Sky Box".[5]

Goldstein worked closely with Lautner and Duncan Nicholson, who took over after Lautner's death in 1994.[12] Nicholson is now chief architect. "I wanted to remake the house exactly as John [Lautner] would have wanted it, and to introduce technology that didn't exist 30 years ago", Goldstein explained. The property next door to his also had a Lautner designed house on it, which Goldstein bought and tore down to build a party house, tennis court and office.[13] He continues to make improvements.[14] In 2016, Goldstein promised that the house eventually will become the property of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.[15]

The residence has also been featured in a number of movies, including Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, French Exit, and The Big Lebowski.

See also


  1. ^ "The Peculiar Life of the Man in the 'Big Lebowski' House: An NBA Superfan's Wild L.A. Mansion | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  2. ^ The Hollywood Reporter - Inside NBA Superfan James Goldstein's Wild L.A. Party Mansion
  3. ^ Baltimore Sun: "Rice, Nanette" January 10, 2005
  4. ^ a b Chris Warren, Superfan, American Way Magazine, February 15, 2009
  5. ^ a b c Bob Young, Hat's Off to NBA's No. 1 Fan, Boston Globe, May 7, 2005.
  6. ^ Steele, Ben (2012-06-10). "Milwaukee native is NBA's No. 1 fan". Jsonline.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  7. ^ Bob Sansevere, Wolves have at least 1 L.A. fan, St. Paul Pioneer-Press, May 24, 2004.
  8. ^ Matthew Gurewitsch, On the Path to Illumination, Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2004.
  9. ^ The Hollywood Reporter - Inside NBA Superfan James Goldstein's Wild L.A. Party Mansion
  10. ^ Marsh, Steve. "Legends of NBA Style: The GQ+A With Superfan Jimmy Goldstein". GQ. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  11. ^ Edwin, Bruce. "Jim Goldstein – Living the American Dream". NewsBlaze. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Chiland, Elijah (2012-07-03). "The Lautner House Torn Down to Expand a Lautner House - Curbed LA". La.curbed.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ Chiland, Elijah (2016-02-17). "A Complete Guide to LACMA's First Piece of Architecture, the Most Spectacular House in Los Angeles - Curbed LA". La.curbed.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.

External links