HoopsHype Wasserman Media Group rumors

April 1, 2014 Updates
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

December 10, 2013 Updates
November 12, 2012 Updates

Hal Biagas has agreed to join Excel Sports Management as its general counsel, the latest hire by the sports talent representation firm owned by agents Jeff Schwartz, Casey Close and Mark Steinberg. Biagas most recently was Wasserman Media Group’s executive vice president of operations, a position he held for three years. Prior to that, he served as deputy counsel for the National Basketball Players Association, where he worked for 13 years. Biagas and Excel and Wasserman officials declined to comment or did not return inquiries for this story. Sports Business Daily

July 2, 2012 Updates

Stefan Bondy: Super agent Arn Tellem named chairman of Wasserman media group. He's taking on more responsibilities but will still serve as agent. Twitter

June 18, 2012 Updates

NBA prospect Anthony Davis is the extremely likely number one overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. The NCAA National Champion center/forward from the University of Kentucky had been going through a lengthy vetting process of agents, with the assistance of his father Anthony Davis, Sr., until late last week when he finally announced that he signed with Wasserman Media Group for representation. Sports Agent Blog

Wasserman’s Vice Chairman Arn Tellem and EVP, Team Sports Thad Foucher will help Davis leading up to the NBA Draft and thereafter. Various media entities reported that Davis and his father were choosing between Wasserman Media Group, Creative Artists Agency (basketball agent Leon Rose), and BDA Sports (basketball agent Bill Duffy). At the beginning of last week, I had heard that the family was making a decision between Leon Rose of CAA and Arn Tellem of Wasserman. Sports Agent Blog

June 15, 2012 Updates
June 14, 2012 Updates

I can never ever remember when the consensus No. 1 overall pick in the NBA drafted has waited this long to sign with an agent or agency. But Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is still mulling his choices, apparently between the Wasserman Media Group, Creative Artists Agency and Bill Duffy’s BDA Sports. Racine Journal-Times

May 24, 2012 Updates

Yesterday, SportsBusiness Journal hosted its yearly Sports Business Awards in New York City. It has been reported that roughly 750 people attended the event. Categories included Sports League of the Year, Sports Sponsor of the Year, and of course, Best in Talent Representation and Management. This year’s winner in the latter category was the very deserving Wasserman Media Group. Sports Agent Blog

April 18, 2012 Updates
December 5, 2011 Updates

Wasserman Media Group's Greg Lawrence confirmed with ESPNNewYork.com that his client Jason Kapono is interested in the Knicks. Lawrence said Kapono, an unrestricted free agent who played for the 76ers last season, would be "a great fit in coach [Mike] Dantoni's system." "Jason has interest from several teams and we are in the process of trying to figure out the best situation for him," Lawrence said. ESPN.com

November 8, 2011 Updates
June 30, 2011 Updates

On Monday, the Sports Business Journal published a summary authored by Wasserman Media Group proposing the idea of a “China Basketball Tour” as an option for its players in the event of a lockout. Wasserman, which represents 45 NBA players, including NBA MVP Derrick Rose, began pitching the idea in April with a plan of bringing over around 15-20 athletes for a four-team, three city tour that would last in between two and three weeks. NiuBBall.com

Matt Beyer, an Associate Director at North Head, a public affairs consultancy based in Beijing which represents several NBA athletes in China, has been working on a similar idea since the beginning of March when the potential of a NBA work stoppage turned more serious. When discussing what he calls a “China Contingency League,” Beyer, who worked as Yi Jianlian’s personal interpreter during his rookie season with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2007-08, sees the obvious potential in bringing over a group of NBA players to play in China. “China is a massive market for NBA basketball, so it makes sense for players and agents to look here to capitalize on a lockout situation,” says Beyer. NiuBBall.com

But Beyer, like any other foreigner with sports business experience in China, knows that simply having an idea, no matter how good of a one it is, is meaningless unless you understand the systematic differences between the U.S. and China. And in China, those differences always start with government, which controls almost all aspects of the Chinese sports system. “As China’s sports industry is controlled strictly by the government, there are many political and regulatory differences from the United States to be aware of,” explains Beyer. ”While a great idea may sell on its merits in the United States, that may not be the case in China.” NiuBBall.com

“The General Sports Administration, the China Basketball Management Center under the General Sports Administration and the Chinese Basketball Association must all be in consensus that an idea like this is good for Chinese basketball. Any agents proposing an idea like this in China should present it to China’s sports authorities from a perspective of a means to enrich local talent and the strength of the Chinese sports industry.” NiuBBall.com

June 28, 2011 Updates

Armed with its star-studded NBA client list, Wasserman Media Group is proposing a basketball exhibition tournament in China as the agency explores moneymaking options for its players should there be an extended lockout. In a “China Basketball Tour” proposal summary obtained by SportsBusiness Journal, a sister publication of Sporting News, Wasserman in April began floating a plan to bring 15 to 20 of its NBA clients to China for a two- or three-week tournament if there is a work stoppage. The agency represents 45 NBA players, including this past season’s Most Valuable Player, Derrick Rose. Sporting News

Wasserman initially targeted mid-July for the tour, but organizers now are looking at potential dates in late August or early September. Scheduling is tight, though, as FIBA’s men’s basketball Asian Games are set for late September in China, and the Chinese Basketball Association starts its season in mid-October. According to the summary, the proposed tournament aims to match NBA players represented by Wasserman with Chinese Basketball Association players to form at least four teams to play during the exhibition. Targeted locations for the tour include Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, but no deals have been signed with any facilities. Sporting News

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