Check out our exclusive interview with businessman, entrepreneur and one of the most iconic faces in the world, Mr. James Goldstein, who can be seen at the courtside seats of almost every NBA game and playoffs, and also attending the top fashion events, runways and parties around the world.
Mr. Goldstein is also the owner of one of the most popular (if not the most popular) houses in Los Angeles, better know as the “Sheats Goldstein Residence” that was designed by famous architect John Lautner.
Follow James Goldstein on IG @jamesfgoldstein
Hi James, please describe yourself in 3 words?
A Unique Person.
Where did you grew up and what did you study in college?
I grew up in Milwaukee and I started out studying Mathematics and Physics in college, and I ended up studying Economics. I attended Stanford University undergrad and UCLA graduate school.
What was the first business you started or worked at?
After getting my Masters degree at UCLA, I went to work for a real estate investment firm.
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
My typical day now starts with immediately reading the LA Times and New York Times first thing. During basketball season, it takes considerably longer because I carefully review each box score of the NBA. After reading the newspapers, I like to play tennis at my tennis court and also frequently meet with people and workers for plans on what’s need to be done at the house.
Later in the afternoon, if its a nice day, I like to sit in the sun by the pool and sometimes invite friends. Then around 4pm or 4:30pm the NBA games start on TV and around 5:30pm or 6pm, I frequently leave the house to go to a Clippers or Lakers game which last until around 10pm. Then I’ll go out to dinner after that. So that’s my day!
Do you believe there is a pattern or formula to becoming a successful businessman/entrepreneur?
I think the formula for success is to specialize in something you like, learn everything about it as you can, and take it as far as it can go.
What is that one thing or that one lesson that you wish you knew at the start of your career/life?
Looking back, the biggest mistake I made, was to work for someone else for too long.
Name one your strengths?
Persistence and not willing to settle. To be a perfectionist.
Best advice ever given?
I don’t recall getting any advice or impact from other people on me.
You travel all over the world and to pretty much every top fashion show. Is there still a place to visit or a fashion show in your bucket list?
As much as I travel all over the world, I always like to visit new places, and there are many places I haven’t seen yet. For example, areas that were in the old Soviet Union like Kazakhstan and also places in Africa that I haven’t been to yet.
Which Fashion show is always on your calendar that you cannot miss?
My favorite fashion show is also my favorite source for my own clothes and that’s Balmain.
You are always with stunning models and women around you. Tell us about it and how that started?
Well I think I have always been attracted to beautiful women since I was a teenager. Being the perfectionist that I am, I’ve always seek out the most beautiful girls, and going to fashion shows has made me attractive in particular to tall and slim models.
Did you ever got married or have any kids?
No. No to both.
Now let’s talk about the Sheats-Goldstein Residence. Your house is amazing btw. Really like a museum. Tell us about the process of buying it, and the interior design, style and decor and how involved you were in all the process?
Growing up in Milwaukee, I have the fortunate experience of being around businesses that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and that really appealed to me more that any other kind of architecture. I always was looking at the future, rather than looking at the past. So when it came time for me to start looking for a house, I looked out for 2 years before I found this house that eventually bought. The minute I walked in this house, I knew, this was the one.
As far as the process, I waited a few years after I bought it because of financial reasons. Finally I started my first remodel bringing back the original architect Frank Lloyd Wright top assistant and we worked together on the first project. But once I started that process, that was it, and since then, I have never stopped. And again, my desire for perfection wanted to improve every detail for the house. And when the house was finished, I was not ready to stop and I started building more parts of the house. Currently I’m still working on projects in the house and hope to start soon with them.
I can see that you love modern style, but is there any other style or architect/artist that your are fan of?
When I go to Europe, for example, I appreciate the older styles, because they are authentic, very old buildings and real. I don’t like the new copies that try to look like the old ones.
Is it true that there are no round corners in any part of the house?
Yes that’s true, and not only there are no corners and also no square corners, no 90 degree angle corners either.
And about Club James! It’s amazing to have your own club. It’s only open for special parties?
My house and club are in a residential neighborhood and I can’t open it daily. Just for special parties and events.
Can you name a few of the top A-Celebs that have been to your house or club?
So many. I can almost say that name a celebrity that has not been here will be easier. Either for parties or for photoshoots. Probably the biggest celebrity or party was a few years ago when Rhianna had her birthday party here, so that night, people like Jay-Z where here, Mick Jagger was here and many, many others.
Now let’s talk about your love for basketball and how that started?
My love for basketball started when I was given a basketball and a hoop in my driveway when I was about 5 years old. I loved playing basketball from that on. And at around age 10, I attended my first NBA game and I really enjoyed it.
At the age of 15, I got a job for the Milwaukee team and from that point on, basketball became the focal point of my life.
How do you manage all the traveling and to be present in hundreds of NBA games?
I manage it because it’s my top priority. Nothing can get in the way of attending basketball games.
Do you get free courtside tickets or special prices for all this games? You are friend with so many big name players, do they send you tickets for important games?
I have to laugh about this question. I don’t get free court side tickets. The players don’t have access to court side tickets, so they could not give them to me even if they wanted to. I buy my own court side tickets and I’m a season ticket holder for both LA teams, the Lakers and the Clippers. I should add that they have been some exceptions where the owners of other teams when I travel to other cities have give me courtside tickets, but thats is just an exception.
Are you a Lakers fan? Or which team do you support?
No, I am not a Laker fan. I’m fan of the NBA league and I follow all the teams. Generally I root against the Lakers because everybody else in LA is so biased by the Lakers.
Is there a game that you missed that you regret not attending?
Well, the most recent example of that, occurred several weeks ago when I have not returned from Europe from the Paris Fashion Week and there was a Clippers game vs Sacramento Kings where they had the 2nd highest scoring game in history (Kings outlasted Clippers 176-175 in double overtime), so it was 2 days before I came back. So I’m really sorry that I miss that game.
Can you name your Top 5 players in history?
I don’t like to rank players because the games have changed so much, and you can’t compare players from different eras and also compare players with different positions.
For you, who’s the GOAT?
Again, I don’t like to pick because of the same reasons above, but I think LeBron James deserves that title for having the greatest statistics career for a player.
Besides basketball and tennis, do you like any other sports?
At an earlier age, I followed Baseball and Football quite passionately as well. But over the last 25 years or so, I dropped those 2 sports because I prefer basketball and tennis considerably more.
Who’s your favorite tennis player? And why?
I really rooting hard for Novak Djokovic to become the biggest Grand Slam winner of all time.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
I don’t really consider myself having a big failure. I’m a very positive person, so I don’t think or talk about failure.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
I don’t read business books. So I can’t answer this question.
What’s next for James Goldstein in 2023?
I haven’t made any specific plans different from my normal schedule or traveling plans. I don’t plan far ahead. I do this pretty spontaneously.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
My buildings projects are the ones I’m planning now. Those consist of building a theater adjacent to Club James and to build a guest house below my house.
How would you describe your fashion style?
My fashion style is about wearing something that is beautiful and unique at the same time. I prefer short jackets and skinny pants, and vibrant hats.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
We talked about this before, but my advice is to pick something you are passionate about and to specialize in that passion, learn everything to know about it and never to settle for something that you don’t feel passionate about.
If you could prepare or eat only one meal, what would it be?
If I can only pick one meal, I would choose a medium-rare BBQ Steak.
What is the best restaurant that no one’s ever heard of?
There is no real answer to that. Because for me, the best restaurants, not only have good food, but they have a good crowd of people. So, if no one’s ever heard of it, then it will not have a good crowd of people.
How would your best friend describe you?
Like they have never met anyone like me.
Do you support any charity?
I support the NBA Hall of Fame.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
To me, Sunday is no different from any other day. So a perfect day would be a beautiful warm day that I could spend playing tennis and sitting at the pool with friends.
Where we can follow you?
The best place to follow me will be Instagram @jamesfgoldstein