Tag:Leon Rose
Posted on: July 27, 2011 9:43 am

Why CAA is missing a giant opportunity in China

By Matt Moore

In the last year,  CAA flexed its muscles as the most powerful sports representation entity in professional basketball. LeBron James staged "The Decision," which was a PR disaster and a global branding success. Chris Bosh, James, and Dwyane Wade got what they wanted, to team up where they wanted for basically as much as they wanted. Carmelo Anthony staged a year-long siege on Denver's future, eventually working his way not just out of the team he wanted out of, but to the team he wanted to play for. Chris Paul flexed enough muscle to get help in getting the Hornets back to the playoffs. Tony Parker signed a hefty new extension.

The lockout is here, now, and everyone's evaluating their options. Yet for some reason, CAA hasn't taken the active step in pushing things to the next level in a crucial opportunity to expand their brand in Europe or China. We're starting to see signs that some of their clientele may head over, though. From the AP:
Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony say they will consider offers to play professional basketball in China if there is no resolution to the NBA lockout.

Both players are on a promotional tour of China while monitoring news from home about the NBA's labor impasse.

With Kobe Bryant reportedly negotiating a deal to play in Turkey, New Orleans Hornets' Paul and New York Knicks forward Anthony said they were also considering overseas moves.

Asked by SNTV where they would go, Anthony replied "China." Paul said "Same, no question."
via Paul, Anthony say they will consider playing in China - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

Now, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says that the players should cool it with their globetrotting and go beat down the league's door to get the lockout resolved, which is a nice pipe dream. But considering that A. there's a concern in the union, expressed by Paul, that the talks should represent the whole of the union and not just the superstars and B. let's face it, this is professional sports, it's every man for himself except where launching lawsuits like the NFL did helps your cause, it's not just unlikely, but likely untenable. 

Setting aside the morality questions regarding these players' behavior in a lockout, let's examine the business side of it. CAA is in a unique situation, with its ties to Nike through various sources including but not limited to William Wesley, along with other sponsors, to put together a traveling exhibition tour through China that would fit perfectly with their roster. It would expand their brand in that market, both as a sports entity and the players individually, generate a metric ton of revenue, and would be able to be done according to the wishes of the players. Don't want a coach? Don't need one! Want to be able to cancel a tour date within three hours of the event? Done! They would be able to set all parameters and as a result, have the control they want, using CAA's leveraging power to act as a shield for the players. 

LeBron James is already said to have decided to pass on playing overseas. This decision is pretty baffling, given James is the one star with the biggest goals for global domination. China is part of the gateway to obtaining the brand power of Kobe Bryant, yet James hasn't fully invested himself there, like, say, Carmelo Anthony has. Anthony filmed a movie last year in China and has followed Bryant's suit in establishing himself there, along with Dwight Howard. James would do well not to think himself having already conquered the market with his Beijing stint in 2008. But collectively, CAA could simply overwhelm with the amount of revenue they would generate from spearheading such an effort. In addition, that would leave more opportunities for other players overseas, which strengthens the union's position. 

So why isn't this happening?

Because apparently getting NBA players to commit to anything on that kind of level is like herding cats. CAA can get three superstars to commit the next five years of their careers (at least) to each other in the same city, but can't get this kind of thing organized. Such are the complexities of global domination. Hannibal never had this problem. Maybe they need more elephants.  
Posted on: June 12, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 4:59 pm

Deron Williams to follow LeBron James to CAA?

New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams is reportedly considering joining CAA, the agency that represents LeBron James. Posted by Ben Golliver. dwill-lebron

Any time a star player hits the market these days, you have to figure that Miami Heat forward LeBron James has something to do with it. 

On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams fired his long-time agent. Within less than a week, reports have surfaced linking Williams to the agency that represents James and his Miami Heat brethren: CAA.

Yahoo! Sports reports that Williams is "strongly considering" changing his representation to CAA.
James has been a part of recruiting everyone else over to his side – Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul. And now, the New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams is strongly considering joining up with CAA after firing his longtime agent. Within the NBA, this surprised people because Williams had always been so fiercely independent. He never star-gazed James like most of his young teammates, and never seemed inclined to follow.

“LeBron has almost become a movement within the league,” says a league executive who’ll recruit these players in 2012. “With Worldwide Wes [CAA agent William Wesley] and him, you’re making a decision as a player to be packaged the way they packaged him. They follow him.” 
Earlier this week, the Salt Lake Tribune also reported that Williams is "expected to sign with agent Leon Rose, a source said Tuesday." Rose's agency was recently purchased by CAA.

If Williams joins CAA, it will be huge free agency news. Williams is under contract with the Nets for next season, but has a player option after that. In other words, he could start trying to force his way to a better club as soon as this year's trade deadline (if not immediately) by letting the Nets know he doesn't plan to pick up his option. 

The Nets went all-in trading for Williams and they don't have much surrounding him. Surely, they'll feel the pressure this summer to do whatever it takes to get him talented teammates immediately. But should Williams have a different destination in mind, there's not much stopping him - save an overhauled Collective Bargaining Agreement - from becoming next year's Carmelo Anthony. 

James and company paved the way for star players to realize how to maximize their leverage. If you're Williams, watching the Heat compete for a title in Year One, what is there to convince you that following in those footsteps isn't a good idea? 

Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:26 am
Edited on: February 20, 2011 3:16 am

Melo, Nets meet with no resolution

Carmelo Anthony and agent meets with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z in Los Angeles to discuss prospective trade for Nets to acquire All-Star. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed an AP report that Carmelo Anthony and Nets majority and minority owners Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z met earlier Saturday night to discuss the Nets' interest in acquiring the All-Star small forward.  The meeting occurred just hours after Prokhorov released a statement through his spokesperson stating no meeting had taken place or was planned, and that they would have no further comment on the matter. The meeting also coincided with a renewed interest from the Knicks as owner James Dolan has become more involved in the talks, Berger reports. 

ESPN reports that the Nets meeting lasted 40 minutes and included Anthony's agent Leon Rose and advisor Bay Frazier, as well as Nets CEO Brett Yormark and GM Billy King. Melo was reportedly "noncomittal" following the meeting, and Yahoo! Sports reports that the Nets "didn't come away very confident." 

So the Nets got their meeting, and failed to hit the home run. But they're not out of it yet. Their biggest problem? James Dolan, who has become involved in the negotiations on the Knicks' side, and is offering up more and more assets to get the second superstar, threatening to damage the leverage Donnie Walsh has very carefully maintained throughout these negotiations. The Nets' biggest advantage? Their remaining ability to threaten Melo by not trading him, then taking his extension offer off the table, leaving him high and dry for the extra money entering a new CBA. 

The Nets have now offered three picks, Devin Harris and Derrick Favors for Melo in a three-way, walked away and said they were through, come back, offered the same deal plus an extra pick, said they weren't meeting with Melo, reaffirmed they weren't meeting with Melo, then met with Melo, and now they still don't have a deal. 

You've got to give it to the Russian, though. 

He's a persistent dude. 

Posted on: February 5, 2011 1:50 pm

Carmelo Anthony's agent says Knicks only?

Leon Rose, agent for Carmelo Anthony, is reportedly telling teams his client will only sign a contract extension with the New York Knicks. Posted bycarmelo-anthony Ben Golliver.

It's been a slow week or two in the Carmelo Anthony trade talks, which is unusual as the clock is ticking down pretty quickly to the trade deadline, which is now less than three weeks away. Why the slowdown? The most obvious explanation: Anthony only wants to be traded to the Knicks and the Knicks are smart enough to wait until this offseason rather than trading for him.

Yahoo! Sports reports that Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, is indeed telling NBA teams that Anthony has his eyes set on the Big Apple.
Several sources told Yahoo! Sports that Carmelo Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, has recently begun informing teams that the All-Star forward is interested in signing a contract extension with only the New York Knicks. The stance has weakened the Denver Nuggets’ leverage in trying to deal Anthony, not only to other teams, but also the Knicks.
The sources said the Knicks don’t feel pressed to present a substantial trade offer to the Nuggets because they think they can also sign Anthony after the season if he opts out of his contract, as expected. “If you’re New York, you just sit and wait until the offseason,” one general manager said. “That’s where it’s likely to go. Why give up assets to get him now when you can wait and get him next season?”
Said another source: “If ’Melo is telling the world he wants to go [to New York], why fight so hard to get him? [Knicks president] Donnie Walsh knows this.”
This report falls into a well-established narrative that dates back to December, when CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reported on Melo's Knicks-or-bust stance, a position that was reiterated by his sources in January as well. Of course, Anthony also called playing in his hometown his "ultimate dream" in a January interview too.

So how would Anthony get to the Knicks via trade prior to the deadline? It would take some help, as it's accepted as fact at this point that Denver Nuggets management is not enthralled with New York's available trade pierces.

On Friday, Berger reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team loaded with tons and tons of free cap space, may have emerged as a potential facilitator for a trade between the Denver Nuggets and Knicks.
While the Nuggets realize they will have to seriously engage the Knicks in trade talks for Anthony before the Feb. 24 deadline, a third team already has stepped into the on-deck circle as a potential facilitator if talks between Denver and New York ever gain traction. That team, sources say, is the Timberwolves, who are willing to absorb Eddy Curry's $11.3 million expiring contract in a three-team scenario that would send Anthony Randolph to Minnesota and Anthony to New York. In this scenario, which one executive involved deemed "unlikely," the Wolves would simply waive Curry after the trade. Depending on the timing, Curry would likely have only five paychecks remaining for a total of $4.7 million. So taking on Curry would involve little or no cost to Minnesota; if the Wolves could negotiate a $3 million buyout covering the remainder of Curry's salary, that tab would be fully picked up by the Knicks, who could send as much as $3 million cash to Minnesota in the trade. But Curry's $11.3 million cap number would help make the complicated trade math work in a three-team deal. The Nuggets aren't interested in Curry's expiring contract, sources say, and the only other team with enough cap space to take it on without sending back equal salary is Sacramento -- which has yet to be invited into any Knicks-Nuggets discussions. If the Knicks and Nuggets aren't going to do business before the deadline, perhaps leaving Anthony in free-agent limbo heading into a new collective bargaining agreement, then Minnesota would still be interested in Randolph -- and would be willing to give up a low first-round pick and absorb Roger Mason ($1.4 million) into their cap space in a one-on-one deal.
The ball is squarely in Denver's court. Their choices: re-assess what New York has to offer and accept the discount, pray that the New Jersey Nets execute an about-face and re-enter trade talks, sell Melo for pennies on the dollar to a contender that doesn't require an extension to pull a trade, or hold onto him and watch him walk away for nothing in free agency this summer. All things considered: putting something together with the Knicks still seems like the best, most realistic option.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 1:15 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2010 1:26 pm

Enablers driving conversation about Heat coach

Posted by Matt Moore

The season started a month and two days ago, but apparently it's never too soon for the new Heat to completely run over their head coach. Despite the fact that the Big 3 signed on to the Heat because of their trust in the organization, and that organization's trust in Spoelstra, a mutiny is afoot. ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that the Heat players are "frustrated" with head coach Erik Spoelstra, wondering if he's the right man for the job. Broussard claims this isn't a "LeBron v. Spoelstra" issue (regardless of timeout bumps ), but one of the Heat players versus the young coach.

Ken Berger will have more on the situation in full detail this afternoon, but there's an element of this story that's worthy of discussion here.

Chris Broussard was of course the reporter to first break that LeBron James' "Decision" would be to head to Miami to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. So naturally his having the story of the Heat's winter of discontent is going to raise some eyebrows. Broussard's connections are most visibly through LRMR/CAA and LeBron's crew of "enablers" as they're often called. That Broussard is specifically making it clear that LeBron is not behind this public relations coup d'etat comes across as a very defensive reaction from LeBron's people.

What's more, if we look at the likely squeaky wheels, all roads lead back to James and his crew, be it CAA, Maverick Carter, William Wesley, or the whole bunch. That's partially because there aren't many other likely suspects. The role players on the Heat, like Eddie House, the injured Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller, James Jones, Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Those aren't strong enough voices to raise discontent. They're not going to be saying anything that the Big 3 are going to disagree with. It's just not going to happen. Their loyalty first and foremost is to the Big 3 who will protect them if as their performances struggle. Which means it's the Big 3.

Chris Bosh? The notoriously soft player without a loud voice in the locker room? That's the guy calling for change? It's Bosh leaking things to Broussard through his people? Or how about Dwyane Wade, who has constantly (to this very day) defended Spoelstra, backed him, up and been behind him? That's the guy who has all of a sudden turned on him? Even if Wade had issues with Spoelstra, he's not going to his agents or entourage to leak to Chris Broussard about it; he's going straight to Pat Riley, the man that won him a championship. That's been Wade's MO the entire way. Say what you want about Dwyane Wade, he's been the model of professionalism in regards to basketball matters outside of that embarrassing introductory event. He's not likely to go to the media first in this scenario.

And even if we get past both of those things, separating Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade from LeBron James' people is kind of difficult. Why? Because they're all the same people. All three are represented by CAA, all three are close with William Wesley.

It's most likely that Broussard is reporting the truth as he knows it, that from his standpoint, LeBron wasn't the one behind this. But if that's the perception he's being given, it's because LeBron's people are purposefully orchestrating it to look that way. All the signs point to the same kind of power play LeBron has been orchestrating throughout his career with alarming frequency.

Remember that James oversaw multiple coaching changes in Cleveland. He constantly pushed for trades to improve his support while bristling at trades that would move players he was close with. (Even trading Zydrunas Ilgauskas was a difficult one for LeBron, even as it was aimed at gaining either Amar'e Stoudemire or the actually acquired Antawn Jamison.) Throughout all of it, James has and a team of people that go far beyond his agent Leon Rose pushing his agenda, running roughshod over the Cavaliers' organization. That tradition seems to be continuing now that the "family" has moved south. The problem here isn't that LRMR/CAA are driving a conversation in the media. The problem is that they're the ones driving the conversation, period.

As Andrew Sharp elucidates this morning , Spoelstra may have to go simply because he isn't capable of containing the beast that's been created. Even if he isn't the problem, he isn't able to help. This team does need a swift kick in the backside and Spoelstra's simply not going to be able to provide that. The question is whether Riley can wrangle the stars from the front office or if he'll be forced to either find a replacement for Spoelstra... or do it himself.

At the core of all this, that's what this situation is about. The Heat need someone to control the Big 3,to get their eyes off parties and enjoying themselves and into committing to the hard work and humility necessary to be truly great. Spoelstra may not be the guy to do that. The 2008 Celtics' Big 3 had more of a solidified voice than Doc Rivers (Rivers was on the hot seat before the Big 3 was assembled; the arrival of the Big 3 allowed the Celtics to mask his biggest problem: managing rotations). The difference is that the Big 3 knew desperation; they were at the end of their careers (comparatively) and knew they'd have to play with outright intensity every night. The Heat lack that and instead are led by two players who lack that passion and intensity, and their third leader (Wade) is trying to make it work with the other two weapons after a career of having to do everything.

This situation is being dictated by LeBron, just as this summer was. While Dwyane Wade is accepting responsibility and saying he has to improve, James continues to deflect. Someone, at some point, is going to have to take responsibility for the Heat. They're going to run out of people to fire, eventually.

In the meantime, we'll keep watching what's being said, and where it's coming from, as the fall of the King continues.

Posted on: July 8, 2010 12:45 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 12:57 pm
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