On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by Matt Babcock – a former NBA agent who is the founder of Babcock Hoops. They discuss Matt’s time as an agent, the pros and cons of that job, Matt’s experience growing up around the NBA since his father and uncles are NBA executives, his transition to media and more. Time-stamps are below!
:35: The name Babcock may be familiar to listeners. Not only was Matt an NBA agent, his father, Dave Babcock, has worked in the Milwaukee Bucks’ front office for 21 years and his uncles, Pete Babcock and Rob Babcock, each worked as NBA general managers. Matt talks about growing up around NBA franchises in a family that’s obsessed with basketball.
4:15: After getting a behind-the-scenes look at NBA front offices thanks to his family, what made Babcock go down the agent route?
8:40: These days, there are a lot of agents-turned-executives like Bob Myers, Rob Pelinka, Lon Babby and Justin Zanik among others. Matt discusses whether he’d ever consider pivoting to work in an NBA front office.
10:00: Matt compares the stress level and lifestyles of an NBA agent, NBA executive and NBA media member.
11:50: What were the most frustrating parts of being an NBA agent?
12:30: Players can fire their agent on a whim, so there’s a lot of paranoia and anxiety about job security in that industry. Matt discusses his experiences with this.
15:00: Matt’s father, Dave, is part of the Bucks’ front office and he played a huge role in discovering Giannis Antetokounmpo prior to the 2013 NBA Draft, which Matt discusses.
19:35: Matt shares why he thinks Antetokounmpo should win this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player award.
21:40: At Babcock Hoops, Matt has a draft coverage team that breaks down and analyzes prospects just like an NBA organization would. Matt talks about how he evaluates players during the pre-draft process.
22:49: Who will be the better pro: Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett? Who are the next wave of guys right after the Duke stars?
24:50: Babcock Hoops ran a great article by a former NBA scout on the importance of intel and how everyone around the league trades information. He discusses this and what kind of intel is valued most.
26:50: Matt talks about the process of recruiting players when he was an agent and how he decided who he’d represent.
29:00: The agent industry has changed a lot in a relatively short period of time. Matt discusses some of the biggest changes he experienced from the time he started working as an agent to when he exited the profession.
31:15: There are a lot of stories about sleazy agents who do things the wrong way or put themselves before their clients. Matt talks about his experiences with these kinds of agents.
33:50: Matt talks about the agent-player relationship. Sometimes, the two are very close. Sometimes, the agent may not even like the player he represents.
36:00: When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was on the podcast, he criticized Rich Paul and said that he’s made mistakes in the way he’s handled Anthony Davis’ exit from the New Orleans Pelicans. As a former agent, how would Matt have handled this same situation?
38:30: If Matt was in charge of the NBA and NBPA, what changes would he push through to make things better for agents?
40:35: Matt discusses his transition to the media side of things and what’s new at Babcock Hoops.
This episode is sponsored by Seat Geek! Be sure to download the Seat Geek app (or visit their website) and enter the promo code HOOPSHYPE for $10 off your first ticket purchase!