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Shed a tear: Agents are hurting during lockout, too

Nov 22, 2011, 4:20 PM EDT

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David Stern has tried to paint NBA agents as a malevolent force during this lockout — maybe not Voldemort himself (that would be Jeffry Kessler) but more Dementors. Men who suck the joy out of the game.

But this lockout hurts the agents, too. They all hustle because they live on commission, you’ve got to get clients and keep them happy. They tend to take a long-term view of things (they’ll fight for larger salaries and more player movement because it will help them make more money) but in the short term they are working for free.

One of the biggest agents, Mark Bartelstein, spoke about it, via

Since he and his fellow agents are paid by commission (usually 3 to 5 percent on team contracts according to, Bartelstein is losing a lot of money from this lockout as well.

“I’m actually working harder than ever — 18-, 19-hour days,” he said in article. “There’s so much you have to deal with on a daily basis. And to not be getting paid…it’s not fun.”

Bartelstein is clearly siding with players every step of the way, saying, “Just because something is painful, distasteful, doesn’t mean you say, ‘OK, fine, I’ll take this horrible deal.’ The owner’s strategy was based on the thought the players will cave when they start losing money. That’s what they were banking on.”

That’s true. Some owners (many maybe) really are waiting for the players to just cave in. The agents do not want that to happen because it’s not in the best interest of the agents. Nor their clients. The interests of agents and players are not completely concentric circles, but there is a lot of overlap.

But neither the players nor the agents can go without paychecks forever. And the owners know that.

  1. charlutes - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Only read the headline. Don’t think I need much more info. Don’t care at all about agents. At all.

  2. ogre2010 - Nov 22, 2011 at 5:07 PM


  3. sshameless - Nov 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Don’t these agents take over handling these player’s money? These player stars quit attending class in the 9th grade. They don’t know a dam thing about money, finance, investment or even simple math. These agents aren’t hurting, they have their Shylock fingers in every pie slice of the $ billions the NBA gouges from fans.

  4. bigtrav425 - Nov 22, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    a big FU to all those scumbag agents…hope you go bankrupt! especially lrmr!

  5. mojosmagic - Nov 22, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    News flash, the game sucks for most fans, the league is unbalanced with only a couple of teams having a real chance, players are over paid, owners are losing money, and ticket prices are a joke. Agents can drop dead and nobody would miss them since everything is slotted. Most of the players are dumber then a box rocks and NO ONE CARES!

  6. snoopy2014 - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM


  7. snoopy2014 - Nov 23, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Also, f*** Mark Bartelstein.

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