HoopsHype David Falk rumors
Michael Jordan lingering in the main dining room at Cafe Milano for nearly three hours Sunday night. White shirt, jeans. Accompanied by a co-ed crew of five, including his brother James and superagent David Falk. The retired NBA star was in town for business -- a meeting with the National Guard, which sponsors his motorcycle racing team -- but he also fit in a visit with wounded troops at Walter Reed. Washington Post
In '96, Falk represented most of a murderer's row of free agents that dwarfed this summer's class. Falk had Michael Jordan, Alonzo Mourning, Juwan Howard, Dikembe Mutombo, Kenny Anderson and others who joined the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller and Allan Houston on the open market. There were no max contracts at the time, so the agent actually had to negotiate. Once that part was done, Falk said, it came down to the same issues that will guide LeBron and Wade 14 years later. "I told my clients that my job is to get you the same offer from three or four different teams," Falk said at the draft Thursday night. "And your job is to tell me, do you want to play in the North or the South? Is there a specific coach you want to play for? What are the intangibles? Don't let the money make the decision. Today, the first part's done for you. There is no negotiation. LeBron is going to get the max wherever he goes and his decisions should all be based on whatever intangible factors are important to him." CBSSports.com
For the first five years of a max contract starting at $16.57 million, the difference amounts to barely $2 million. Then there's the matter of the sixth year, worth about $25 million if he stays home. Irrelevant, according to Falk. "LeBron's 25 years old," Falk said. "So does he think at age 30 he's not going to be able to play anymore? No. Secondly, Cleveland can pay him 2.5 percent more per year and he pays tax on that. He goes to Miami with no state taxes, and he'll make 5 percent more. So there's no home-court advantage. ... It's minimal. There's an advantage for Joe Johnson or another guy who's 29 years old. It's not an advantage to a guy who's 25." CBSSports.com
With one exception. Does LeBron want to go to work every day and walk past the Michael Jordan statue outside United Center? "LeBron is a fan of Michael, has worn his number and has respected him," Falk said. "But for me, if he's in Chicago, he's going wake up in the morning and people will say, 'You don't brush your teeth like Michael. You don't put your Hanes on like Michael. You don't dust the talc like Michael.' And for someone who's so accomplished, you want to have your own identity. So it's a very interesting question. Some people say he'll be compared to Michael no matter what anyway, but nowhere as much as in Chicago." CBSSports.com
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