05-19-2005, 12:37 AM
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2002
LeBron James Fires Agent, Hires Friend
Here's a 20-year-old decision for you. James' agent got him $90 million from Nike before he ever played a minute in the NBA and he's going to lose his job to a 23 year old with zero experience managing huge sums of money.
In pals he trusts
LeBron James wouldn't be the first NBA star to put business decisions in the hands of his closest friends
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Plain Dealer Reporter
Moms around the world have offered similar meaningful advice since the beginning of time: Eat your veggies. Wash behind your ears.
And never, ever mix money with friendship. In the end, you're almost guaranteed to lose one or the other.
Yet, LeBron James is about to do it -- meld his personal life with his professional -- with the surprising move last week to fire agent Aaron Goodwin and his representation at Goodwin Sports Management. Goodwin's group brokered a $90 million endorsement deal with Nike before James played a single minute in the NBA, and $135 million in total endorsements.
James is expected to hand over the day-to-day operations of LeBron James Inc. to a trio of close friends, headlined by 23-year-old Maverick Carter, a friend of James since the two were in elementary school and a former teammate at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
The move has sparked surprise from agents across the NBA and the general sporting world, and advice from those who assert that they understand.
Among the suggestions: Maybe everyone shouldn't worry so much.
After all, Golden State guard Baron Davis made an agent switch very similar to James', and his world hasn't crumbled yet.
Two years ago, Davis handed over management duties to Todd Ramasar, now 25, a friend and former teammate at UCLA. At the time, Ramasar was Davis' business manager and was attending law school with the dream of becoming an agent. He quit law school to join forces with Davis.
He established Life Sports Management as his management hub and drew from experience he gained from working with Davis' former agent, Arn Tellem. He has since added two other UCLA products as clients: Atlanta's Jelani McCoy and potential 2005 draft pick Dijon Thompson.
That's one thing James' new core doesn't have: management experience. Carter has worked with Nike; and Randy Mims, another close friend, is James' road manager.