These rather explosive questions factor in because the lawyers argue that if they can prove Williamson was paid before or during his tenure at Duke, he would be ineligible and thereby no longer a student-athlete. “It doesn’t matter when the contract is entered into. If you’re no longer a student-athlete, the rules of the NCAA no longer apply,’’ Ford’s attorney Larry Strauss said. “The nuance is that this does not just apply to him. Any third party that acted as an agent, his parent or handlers, all of their actions can also affect eligibility.’’ Both parties have sought dismissal of the other’s case, but each has been denied.
Just after declaring for the draft, Williamson signed a contract with Ford, the president of Prime Sports Marketing, to handle his endorsement deals. No one argues that. There is a signed contract, as well as pictures of Ford with Williamson and Krzyzewski during a photoshoot for Slam magazine.
But Williamson later broke that contract and signed with CAA. Ford contacted the agency, asking for mediation or threatening a lawsuit. Instead, Williamson sued Prime Sports and Ford, contending that the contract with Prime Sports was never enforceable because Prime Sports did not follow the guidelines of the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agent Act, and warn Williamson of potential eligibility issues.
The following week, Ford countersued, filing in Florida and arguing that Williamson breached his contract when he signed with CAA agents. Her lawyers are arguing that he willfully and knowingly signed the document and that the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agent Act doesn’t apply because Williamson already had declared for the NBA Draft with no intention of returning to Duke.
Zion Williamson's lawsuit with Prime Sports Marketing's Gina Ford, his former agent, has taken an interesting twist. According to court papers published early Sunday afternoon by Wallach Legal, LLC founder and gaming law and sports betting attorney Daniel Wallach, Ford served Williamson with requests for admission that he received impermissible benefits to attend Duke and wear or use Nike or choose an Adidas-sponsored school.
Among the 11 bullet points from 5-15, the documents posted by Wallach shows a list of items alleging that he received "money, benefits, favors or others things of value" to sign with the Blue Devils for the 2018-19 college basketball season and wear or use the aforementioned brands. The served requests name Williamson and his mother and stepfather, Sharonda Sampson and Lee Anderson, and Ford is trying to make him say "yes or no" under oath regarding whether or not he accepted the impermissible benefits.
March 6, 2021 | 9:32 pm EST Update
Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton has not been shy about his desire to dive back into the NBA—as a coach. He told Yahoo! Sports last October that he had conversations about joining a coaching staff, “but the timing wasn’t right. I believe I now am ready to coach.” He did not, in the end, join a staff for this season, but now Payton says something is in the works and that could change shortly.
He was coy with specifics, but when asked, he told me about his desire to coach, “It is still the case. I got a surprise coming for a lot of people pretty soon. I don’t want to announce it right now, but you’ll see it pretty soon in the next couple of weeks, I hope everybody will be excited about it.”
He didn’t name any teams, but Payton has said he would like to work with young players, and logical speculation would hold that he could land in Atlanta to mentor star guard Trae Young. Payton’s old teammate and close friend, Nate McMillan, took over the Hawks job after Lloyd Pierce was fired this week. Another possibility would be Detroit, where coach Dwane Casey is overseeing a rebuilding project with a slew of young players for the Pistons. Casey was an assistant coach for Payton’s great Supersonics teams in the 1990s.
Cody Taylor: The NBA G League Ignite have clinched a playoff berth with tonight’s 127-92 win over the Austin Spurs. The group will play at least one more game this season as the playoffs begin on Monday.
Troy Brown: Please help me find my dog, Dex. He’s been missing since yesterday (March 5th). He went missing in the Kalorama neighborhood near 2535 Belmont Rd NW in DC. He’s an extremely friendly dog but he’s probably scared… only weighs about 15 pounds. He has tan and white fur.
March 6, 2021 | 6:25 pm EST Update
Law Murray: Silver says that 25 percent of NBA players come from out of United States, promotes G-League/G-League Ignite as a paid option for some talents while league continues to discuss one-and-done rule