HoopsHype Rich Paul rumors

January 15, 2013 Updates
December 26, 2012 Updates

James is not the only one who has faith in Paul. Former lottery pick Tristan Thompson of the Cavs, Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and Spurs guard Cory Joseph have also joined Klutch. In reality, though, the threat is not actually Paul but this new breed of agent. Not Klutch but a series of Klutches. If Paul is successful, what's to stop another superstar's ambitious best friend from learning the corporate game while still maintaining the authenticity and street cred it takes to earn the trust and friendship of players? Make no mistake about it: Many middlemen, recruiters or runners are watching Paul closely, wondering whether he might blaze a trail they can soon follow. "The middlemen put in all the work and get crumbs for it," says one NBA executive. "Rich could end up being a model for young guys in the future who are close to a star player. They could follow what he's doing and start changing the name of the game." ESPN.com

In the summer of 2011, Paul, James, Dwyane Wade and others were in the Bahamas, just weeks after the Heat had been upset by Dallas in the Finals. The dinner table in their rented mansion was full of steak, seafood, fruit and more, but the mood was sour. James and Wade were beating themselves up, trying to explain what happened. Paul stepped in. "Man, it wasn't meant for y'all to win.'' "Man, what are you talking about?'' said an irked James. "The reason you didn't win it is that you weren't being you," Paul said. "You were playing with a lot of anger, being someone you're not. If God had let you win, you would've felt like you should be that person -- angry, thinking everybody's against you, not having fun on the court. That's not you." "Man, whatever," said James. "I'm not trying to hear this." "It's bigger than what you did on the floor, Bron. It started from day one, when you decided to be someone else. God took you from your highest point to your lowest point so you could be humble, so you could look in the mirror and be a better player. Experience is the best teacher." ESPN.com

December 24, 2012 Updates

James is widely expected to opt out of his contract after next season, if for no other reason than to sign another max contract. And yes, believe it or not, he will give Cleveland a close look. He has a relationship with Irving and Thompson. His new agent, Rich Paul, is a local guy who has long been a close friend. Paul also represents Thompson. A number of pieces are aligning, but the biggest draw is missing. Akron Beacon Journal

The Cavs realistically must be a playoff team for James to consider them. He will turn 30 during the 2014-15 season. It’s inconceivable he would return to Cleveland for a rebuilding project. That means the Cavs will at least have to make the playoffs next season for them to be viable contenders in a free-agent market that will surely include the Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. That puts the Cavs into a difficult position — again. They absolutely cannot, and will not, make panic decisions on this roster to placate James’ potential desires. They’ve been down that road, and we all know how that turned out. Yet stay on this path as one of the worst teams in the league, and they will most likely disqualify themselves from the bidding. Akron Beacon Journal

December 22, 2012 Updates
December 3, 2012 Updates

Klutch Sports Group, the new NBA player representation firm founded by LeBron James’ longtime friend and new NBA contract agent Rich Paul, will start making strategic hires, possibly including a marketing agent, early next year, Paul said last week. Paul shocked many in the basketball world in September when he left CAA Sports, where he had worked under James’ longtime contract agent, Leon Rose, taking James and three NBA players with him. James and the three — Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe, San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson — are now clients of Paul, who was certified to represent NBA players in contract talks by the National Basketball Players Association a little more than a week after he left CAA. Sports Business Daily

October 11, 2012 Updates

This whole thing involving LeBron James' agent is a mess. Cavs forward Tristan Thompson told reporters today he paid for Texas guard Myck Kabongo's flight to Cleveland for a workout -- but that Thompson was reimbursed by Kabongo's brother. The work was set up by Cleveland-based agent Rich Paul, who represents James and Thompson. Sulia

James and two former Texas Longhorns – Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph – are represented by Paul's new management company, Klutch Sports. Paul also called NBA front offices on behalf of Kabongo before this year's NBA draft, sources said. "We're aware of the situation," Texas basketball media relations official Scott McConnell said. "But we have not heard any decisions from the NCAA." Yahoo! Sports

"At the end of the day, here's the main thing, it's no crime to have a relationship with the kid," Paul told Yahoo! Sports. "Of course, I know Myck through Tristan and Cory. I haven't been contacted by the NCAA and I wouldn't put a kid in harm's way. My time in Cleveland was getting [former University of Kentucky star] Michael Kidd-Gilchrist prepared for the draft. I live in Cleveland. "I would never disrespect anybody's program. I love the game of basketball. I understand the business of basketball, but I'm about doing it the right way." Yahoo! Sports

October 2, 2012 Updates

In addition, Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph also filed paperwork to leave CAA, according to league sources. All three are believed to be headed to join the new agency of Rich Paul, who James partnered with during the offseason. Paul represented all three players while working for CAA before leaving to start his own company. ESPN.com

September 13, 2012 Updates

Sources in Cleveland say that Paul always was and has been the most respected member of James’ circle, and that his conduct that night further endeared him to Gilbert and the Cavs. While Gilbert’s late night e-mail rant was vindictive, he never cut off Paul — and that was evidenced when the Cavs selected Tristan Thompson, 4th overall, in the 2011 NBA Draft over Jonas Valanciunas. Interestingly, Valanciunas is repped by Leon Rose while Thompson was repped by Paul. SheridanHoops

Paul also is very tight with Chris Paul, a 2014 free agent. Ask most NBA executives and their circles about Paul, and it is nearly unanimous with words of praise for Paul as a savvy businessman and heady agent, who keeps positive relationships with everyone from owners to security personnel. SheridanHoops

Sources close to the reigning third-time MVP and first-time champion confirmed reports that James has, in fact, parted ways with CAA and agent Leon Rose to branch out with longtime friend Rich Paul, who also is leaving CAA to form his own representation firm. The irony will not be lost on anyone that Paul's firm will be called "Klutch Sports Group," and will be based in Cleveland. CBSSports.com

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