For the past five years, LeBron James has been represented by the same agency as teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Late Thursday night, Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen reported that LeBron is leaving Creative Artists Agency to be represented by his childhood friend Rich Paul.
Paul also formerly worked for CAA but is forming his own agency with clients that include Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jonny Flynn, Tristan Thompson and now arguably the biggest name in professional sports. LeBron was previously represented by Leon Rose, whom he signed with in 2005, before Rose joined CAA in 2007.
A source told the Sun Sentinel that James has emphasized that he has no problems with CAA and that Wade and Bosh were both made aware of the switch. King James took to Twitter to write the following early Thursday morning:
It’s quite possible that LeBron is simply trying to help out a friend by going with him to a new agency. There isn’t much more you have to tell a prospective client when trying to convince him to sign with your agency than, “We represent LeBron James.” However, the biggest concern Heat fans should have about the move is that new agencies only cash in on new contracts. Paul will not make any money on LeBron’s current deal, but if he exercises his early termination clause in 2014 or opts out in 2015, things could get interesting.
For now, we’ll just assume LeBron learned from all the mistakes he made with “The Decision” and truly is tired of being seen as the bad guy. He makes plenty of money off of $300 pairs of sneakers and other endorsement deals, so he’s better off staying put and trying to win multiple championships than switching teams again. That being said, the agency switch combined with his unwillingness to rule out a return to the Cavs gives Cleveland fans something to chew on.
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