Jeff Schwartz Rumors
Marc Stein: Harrison Barnes and agent Jeff Schwartz were apprised before Wednesday’s game that Barnes was being pursued by Sacramento and Charlotte, league sources say. The Kings’ offer won out and Barnes, as explained by Paul Pierce late last night on ESPN, opted to play rather than sit
Paul Pierce: “It’s my understanding this was in the works for the last few days. I got a call from Harrison’s agent Jeff Schwartz. They knew something was in the works with Sacramento. And according to my sources, Harrison Barnes wanted to play. It just so happened that during the game, the trade got agreed upon. And so once everybody found out about the trade, they pulled him out. Even though he knew something was in the works, he wanted to play just in case nothing happened.”
Walker has given every indication he enjoys Charlotte and prefers forming a long-term partnership with the Hornets. He signed his expiring deal in a different NBA economic climate. But the fact that he is the 21st-highest-paid point guard in the league, behind the likes of Brandon Knight, Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson, according to Spotrac, likely isn’t lost on him. “Kemba is a bit of a mellow guy, and I think he likes the laid-back attitude of the city,” said Jeff Schwartz, Walker’s agent. “I think he’s just really comfortable. Think about where Kemba grew up. He grew up in New York, and Charlotte is really different. I think Kemba is completely comfortable in New York, but from a lifestyle and growing up and becoming an adult and having a life outside of the gym, I just think he’s really comfortable. I think it’s symbiotic with the way Charlotte has treated him and the way he reacts to Charlotte.”
Even so, the Bobcats and Walker stagnated in Year 2 together. At the end of that season, Walker called his agent, Jeff Schwartz, and told him he needed help, Schwartz says. Schwartz mentioned that another of his clients, Al Jefferson, was about to hit free agency. Walker and Jefferson eventually met up, and Walker pitched the possibility of making the playoffs in Charlotte. “I thought it was a joke at first,” says Jefferson, who returned from China a few days ago after a brief stint playing there. “Playoffs? Come on.” Jefferson joined, and the Bobcats doubled their win total before the Miami Heat swept them in the first round. And yet: Walker’s shooting numbers got worse. He was up for an extension that fall. Schwartz wanted $12 million per season. Charlotte’s offer topped out at $10 million. As the Oct. 31 deadline approached, Walker pushed Schwartz to accept Charlotte’s offer. If Schwartz wouldn’t, Walker threatened to call the team and do it himself, according to both. (Charlotte ponied up $12 million in the end.)
Jason Kidd is widely (and rightly) regarded as the Nets’ savior when it comes to legitimizing the former New Jersey residents as a credible N.B.A. franchise. Yet the standout moment of his Hall of Fame induction speech might have been the teaser Kidd dropped about the time his life was saved by his agent — literally. At the podium inside Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass., last Friday night, Kidd only shared a snippet about his longtime representative, Jeff Schwartz, coming to his rescue in the ocean on a long-ago trip to Mexico.
It happened during the summer of 2004, according to Kidd, not long after he had undergone microfracture surgery on his left knee. Kidd and Schwartz had rented a boat to sample the ocean on a trip to Cabo San Lucas with family and friends, only to encounter some rough waters that day. “We probably shouldn’t have been out there,” Kidd says now. But they couldn’t resist. Kidd recalls “floating in the water out there” without incident until one of the foam noodles he was clutching got away from him. Kidd swam to retrieve it and soon found himself under attack by a Portuguese man o’ war — without realizing what was happening. “I thought I was having a heart attack,” Kidd said. “Every time I tried to move to get away, it electrocuted me.”