Usually when a player changes agents, it’s a pretty nondescript thing.
But this is LeBron James, and everything he does has become some sort of newsworthy event. However, there could be some real substance to this and its effects could be felt around the league.
James left Creative Arts Agency, which has become a power in recent years with its influence stretching across all the major sports. James will be represented by childhood friend Rich Paul, who also left CAA. Paul is a part of LRMR Management, which James formed with other childhood friends Maverick Carter and Randy Mims.
Leon Rose was James’ second agent, after James left Aaron Goodwin. Why is this important? Most believe CAA has played a crucial part in the forming of the so-called “superteams” in Miami and New York.
Clippers guard Chris Paul left his agent to join CAA, Nets guard Deron Williams left his longtime agent and was heavily courted by CAA before settling on Jeff Schwartz.
Folks in the industry said James leaving could be a game changer, considering teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are also represented by CAA. Carmelo Anthony, Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter, among others, are also repped by CAA.
Locally, Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey and former Piston Richard Hamilton are also represented by Rose.
Rich Paul also represents other players, such as Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson and Charlotte rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and is developing a good reputation around the league.
According to a person who knows all parties, James never had a true relationship with Rose, that was all due to his relationship with power broker Worldwide Wes, who yields an unbelievable amount of influence in today’s game.
There doesn’t appear to be any hard feelings whatsoever from James to Worldwide Wes or Rose. It just always appeared from the beginning that James wanted his friends to learn the business and then run the show once it was time.
James is in a spot, especially as a champion, where he can handle his own business but you wonder if the landscape will subtly change across the league in coming days, weeks, years.
Don’t be surprised if Chris Paul leaves CAA to join James or other players follow. But will the strategy change? We’ll see.