Arn Tellem Rumors
You told us that there are some mistakes in our piece of article about Wasserman. What are they ? Makhtar N’Diaye (Wasserman agent): James Dunleavey left a long time ago before Arn Tellem. Michael Tellem has left because he didn’t like his new job. Indeed, Danilo Gallinari followed him but five or six players have decided to fire him and stay with us.
How much has the loss of Arn Tellem impacted the agency life? Makhtar N’Diaye: Yes, the loss of Arn is huge. It’s like a team that loses his franchise player. It’s normal that there are some collateral damages. Every player had his own reason to leave us. When Arn left us, some players felt like orphans. Arn did take care himself of Joe Johnson. It’s the same thing for Gasol brothers, but we signed the last contract of Marc and we will still be paid for that. If you look deeper, the two losses which hurt us a lot are Jabari Parker because he’s young and has a tremendous potential, and Al Horford because his contract is expiring and he is a max contract player.
Vincent Ellis: FYI: I gather owners are looking to Arn Tellem to provide insight during negotiations with the players on next labor deal. At latest Board of Governors meeting, Tellem briefed owners on his thoughts on the players’ perspectives. Long-time agent, as you know. Tellem is one of the Pistons’ reps on board of governors. Tellem could eventually play a role in the actual negotiations with the players.
Tellem, whose hiring by Gores was announced in June, will be living in a condominium in Birmingham. He expects to acquire an ownership stake in the Pistons later this year, now that Gores has consolidated ownership of the team by recently acquiring his Platinum Equity Group’s 49% share. “That was part of the plan when I came in,” Tellem said. “My hope is now that by the end of the year, we’re going to hopefully have a piece of the action. Tom’s desire is to have this team long-term for him and his family and to really accomplish a lot here — not only winning basketball games, but to make a difference in the community here.”
And both signed up for big challenges in Detroit, taking detours from their impressive careers, leaving homes and friends and family members for extended periods — in part, to do something with a greater purpose. “I’m coming here to make a difference,” Tellem said of his move from Los Angeles, where he was a star with Wasserman Media Group, a sporting and entertainment marketing outfit. “If it was just limited to basketball, it would not be enough of a motivation to come and do it, but to have an involvement from an ownership level in basketball and the business and the community and see where we can make a difference and contribute to what’s going on here in Detroit and Michigan” is what convinced him.
“I think we’re going to take a big step up this year and we’re going to improve,” he said, but cautioned that a championship team the caliber of the old Bad Boys may take awhile. “The NBA, among U.S. pro sports leagues, is the most difficult to suddenly rebuild with free agents and re-do a team,” he said, citing recent struggles of fabled big-market franchises as the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.