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Maybe LeBron’s agent switch turns out to be a smart move

Sep 14, 2012, 11:07 AM EDT

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My initial reaction to LeBron James switching agents from Leon Rose and the powerful CAA — the agency that helped bring LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together in Miami — was that it was vintage LeBron. That once again he was tightening his inner circle to lean on close friends, and new agent Rich Paul is a guy he has known since high school when they played basketball together.

But maybe this is a smart move.

I never thought it was a terrible idea — negotiating LeBron’s contracts is not rocket science since he is now and forever a max deal guy — but I didn’t know what it would mean next time LeBron was faced with a serious decision about his career. However, after reading a feature about Paul by Joe Kotoch at Sheridan Hoops I have a much more open mind.

Because if LeBron had listened to Paul in the past he might have avoided a lot of his missteps.

For his part, Paul has largely been above the fray during James’ trials and tribulations over the past two years….

It was Paul who urged James to not go through with “The Decision” out of concern for the damage James might do to his brand and reputation. When Maverick Carter staged a coup to consolidate power in James’ decision-making circle, Paul left to join CAA and make his own path…

On the night of “The Decision,” when most of James’ circle and handlers were busy with the production side and other image-related concerns, it was Paul who contacted the Cavaliers and owner Dan Gilbert to inform them that James would be leaving for the Heat.

Sources in Cleveland say that Paul always was and has been the most respected member of James’ circle, and that his conduct that night further endeared him to Gilbert and the Cavs. While Gilbert’s late night e-mail rant was vindictive, he never cut off Paul – and that was evidenced when the Cavs selected Tristan Thompson (represented by Paul) with the fourth pick in the 2011 draft over Jonas Valanciunas.

Maybe when it comes to his next big career decision — and I don’t think it will be in 2014 when he can opt out of his deal with the Heat, I don’t think he wants to leave that setting — he will have a more reasoned voice in his corner. One he will listen to now, one that will steer him around the traps of hubris that Carter (and Rose) drove him headlong into.

We’ll see. Proof is in the actions. But I’ll say I have a more open mind now.

  1. supremekingz - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I think you meant to say Dwyane Wade instead of Derrick Rose

    • ulyses20 - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      He did not mean Derrick Rose when he said Rose. He meant it as Leon Rose, the agent he switch from CAA.

    • silencegooddoer - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      The author meant Leon Rose, LeBron’s agent before Rich Paul.

  2. barkley4life - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    ^^^^ I think you meant to say your an idiot troll who can’t read, why didn’t you just post “first”…..smh SUPREMEMORON.

    • supremekingz - Sep 14, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      “… the powerful CAA — the agency that helped bring LeBron, DERRICK ROSE and Chris Bosh together in Miami…”

      ^This is how it was worded in the ORIGINAL POST at the time I commented. I simply said that he probably meant “Dwyane Wade” instead of Derrick Rose. Obviously I was right because he changed the post to say “Dwyane Wade”. So while you’re trying to be a smart aleck, you actually made yourself look stupid.

      But of course you’re stupid. You idolize Barkley who’s always been a great player, but a guy who’s about as bright as a blackout

    • andrewproughcfe - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:43 AM

      @barkley4life – “^^^^ I think you meant to say your an idiot troll who can’t read, why didn’t you just post “first”…..smh SUPREMEMORON.”


      …somebody needs a diaper change and a nap…

      ( @ )

  3. cantonbound13 - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    He’s definitely opting out, why wouldn’t he? He can resign with them for more years over 120 million. Why not capitalize on that situation when you are in your prime?

    • miamatt - Sep 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM

      For once, I agree with you 100%. You got it exactly right.

  4. stebutt - Sep 15, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    “A Rose by any other name…..”

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