HoopsHype Agents rumors

February 19, 2014 Updates
February 17, 2014 Updates

Prominent agent Bill Duffy has partnered with Crunch Fitness and Brain Bar in an effort to incorporate health and fitness into his clients' marketing opportunities and strategies for managing their post-playing careers. He struck up the relationship with Crunch via his friendship with Sacramento Kings co-owner Mark Mastrov, who sold 24-Hour Fitness for $1.6 billion in 2005 and started a new company that bought the Crunch franchise out of bankruptcy in 2009. With NBA players becoming more focused on health and nutrition, Duffy aligning clients with health-related brands could be a sign of things to come. CBSSports.com

February 16, 2014 Updates

Prominent agent Bill Duffy has partnered with Crunch Fitness and Brain Bar in an effort to incorporate health and fitness into his clients' marketing opportunities and strategies for managing their post-playing careers. He struck up the relationship with Crunch via his friendship with Sacramento Kings co-owner Mark Mastrov, who sold 24-Hour Fitness for $1.6 billion in 2005 and started a new company that bought the Crunch franchise out of bankruptcy in 2009. With NBA players becoming more focused on health and nutrition, Duffy aligning clients with health-related brands could be a sign of things to come. The NBA star who drops his affiliations with brands like McDonald's and sugary drink manufacturers could find he has enormous opportunities to put his name and personal brand behind products that his fans should actually be consuming. CBSSports.com

February 14, 2014 Updates

Nelson's business manager since he's been in the league, Steve Mountain, who has worked with different pro athletes in the past 30 years, said players with Nelson's mentality are a rarity these days. "Sports used to be the players chose to stay in a city," he said. "They wanted to be there, they wanted to be a part of the community, they wanted their kids to grow up there and go to school there. They didn't go home for the summer. Jameer's old school like that. He believes that he's an Orlando guy." Bleacher Report

But Mountain said Nelson's priority is rebuilding and future opportunity in Orlando. As Mountain noted, Nelson wants to do what Wade did in Miami, "which is to pull the team through the rough times and come out on top. What if three years from now, he was 34, 35 and he was still an impact player there?" The thought excites Nelson, who's still an effective player, averaging 13 points, 6.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds in 49 starts this season. Bleacher Report

The Cavs, though, are not expected to pursue significant changes to their basketball department until after the season. And it's believed within the industry that they would have little hope convincing Bartelstein to leave Chicago-based Priority Sports, which he founded and which represents numerous NFL players in addition to his basketball clientele. ESPN.com

Sources told ESPN.com this week that the Cavs have interest in trying to recruit Bartelstein into their management structure as other teams have done in recent years, most notably the Phoenix Suns' hiring of Lon Babby and the Golden State Warriors' hiring of Bob Myers. ESPN.com

February 11, 2014 Updates

One of the mega sports and entertainment agencies recently landed one of the more recognizable basketball names of the 1990s in former Chicago Bulls star, Scottie Pippen. Pippen has signed with Wasserman Media Group and its Vice President of Broadcasting, Debbie Spander. “Most in the sports business community recognize Wasserman for representing over 1,200 athletes worldwide, including 55 active NBA players,” Spander said to SportsBusiness Journal. “I joined Wasserman in 2012 to head its Broadcasting division, which provides a seamless transition for former athletes to stay involved in the game. We also represent career sports broadcasters and multimedia sports journalists. We are thrilled to add NBA legend Scottie Pippen to our growing roster of broadcasters and media talent.” Sports Agent Blog

February 8, 2014 Updates

Blake Griffin’s multiyear global deal with automaker Kia came out of a conversation Messler had with the Los Angeles Clippers power forward about what he thought he might do at the 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend dunk contest. Griffin mentioned to Messler that he was thinking about jumping over a car. Since Kia was a sponsor of the NBA, Messler approached Kia with the idea of Griffin jumping over a Kia Optima. Then she asked Griffin if he thought he could do it. “He said, ‘Get the measurements of the car and I’ll let you know,’” Messler recalled. “So Kia sent me the measurements. I think the first time I called them, they thought I was crazy.” Sports Business Daily

Messler took the lead and secured a deal for Deron Williams to write a blog for ESPN from Turkey, where he played during the NBA lockout, as well as creating a “digital hub” for him that included Twitter, Facebook and his own staff writers. Williams now has partnerships with Red Bull, American Express and MetroPCS, and is on the cover of the “NBA Baller Beats” video game. “That is a great example of repositioning him to the marketplace,” Schwartz said. “Reintroducing him to the market and going out and explaining to them why he makes sense for all these different companies to use, and Jaymee did that.” Sports Business Daily

Another source said the possibility exists that Woodson was unhappy with World Peace after a recent practice, in which World Peace spoke up about his playing time, making a wisecrack. World Peace is a constant clown in the locker room, but Woodson took exception. Agent Marc Cornstein said he hasn’t gotten a firm reason why World Peace has seen limited time after the Knicks gave the rest of their mid-level exception in signing the Queenbridge product in July. He has been relegated to mostly garbage time since returning from his platelet-rich plasma procedure. World Peace played the final five minutes of garbage time in Friday night’s rout, as the Knicks fell 117-90 to the Nuggets. “I haven’t been given an answer,’’ Cornstein said. “Usually, I’ll get an answer, not always the one I want to hear. But I don’t have an answer for you on this.’’ New York Post

February 6, 2014 Updates

This past week, Landmark Sports Agency and its agents Rob Pelinka and Brandon Rosenthal signed Australian native Dante Exum. Landmark Sports currently represents some of the biggest stars in the NBA, including James Harden, Kobe Bryant, Andre Drummond, and Andre Iguodola. Describing the reason for choosing Landmark Sports, Exum’s family explained, “[t]he Landmark Team represented our style and manner of treating people, and in doing business[]. We also all shared a common commitment to achieving excellence in all things. The fit is just great and we are really pleased to now begin the work.” Pelinka further acknowledged the international branding power of Exum, stating, “[a]s the NBA continues to expand its brand around the world, we feel like Dante’s international story comes at a perfect time. We also believe that, with continued hard work and focus, Dante is destined to be a ‘franchise’ point guard in this next generation of great NBA players.” Sports Agent Blog

February 3, 2014 Updates

The point guard has signed with Bryant's manager Rob Pelinka, who has told the 18-year-old that Bryant is willing to give him advice on how to handle the leap. The Lakers, in the midst of a disappointing season, have already contacted Australia basketball great Luc Longley to discuss Exum, who led Canberra's Lake Ginninderra College to last year's national schoolboys title. ''A reason why I signed with the agent I'm with is he has Kobe Bryant, and he's been through this when he came into the NBA,'' Exum said. Canberra Times

Wasserman Media Group has signed New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton and basketball hall of famer/broadcaster Scottie Pippen for representation. Agents Thad Foucher and Makhtar Ndiaye will represent Felton. Sports Business Daily

February 1, 2014 Updates

Kyrie Irving is close to firing his agent, Jeff Wechsler, according to a league source. We hear part of the reason Irving is seeking a new rep is that he intends on leaving the Cavs, while Wechsler wants him to stay. As we reported at the start of the season, Irving wants to come back home to the New York area — he’s from West Orange, N.J. — and play for the Knicks. Lord knows they could use an All-Star talent at point guard, and Irving will be headed for his first starting assignment in an All-Star game in a couple of weeks. New York Daily News

January 30, 2014 Updates

It is not much of a secret that possible No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins has been associated with agent Rich Paul of LRMR Marketing, the agency that represents LeBron James. Paul has had particular success recruiting Canadian players, and has counted San Antonio’s Cory Joseph and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson—both from Toronto, like Wiggins—among his clients. Most fellow agents expect Wiggins to sign with Paul whenever he declares for the draft. Sporting News

It is possible, too, a source told Sporting News, that Paul could score a double win with Duke standout Jabari Parker. Paul is believed to be a candidate to represent Parker. But Parker is a Chicago native and former Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong—who works with agent Arn Tellem—is in the mix for Parker, too. Sporting News

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