As the agent of Los Angeles Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, among many other prominent NBA players, Rich Paul has become the most powerful agent in the NBA by most accounts. He is one of the faces of the "player empowerment era" that has seen more and more superstars demanding trades and choosing their teammates.
Paul is also one of James' oldest friends, so when the NCAA implemented rule changes that could potentially limit Paul's power and opportunities, James came directly to his defense. Our Kyle Boone regarding agents seeking to represent draft-eligible NBA prospects, but the one that applies directly to Paul requires that individuals possess a Bachelor's degree in order to represent student-athletes. Paul, the founder of Klutch Sports, does not, and therefore some have dubbed the new NCAA restriction the "Rich Paul Rule."
James apparently caught wind of the changes, and took to Twitter with his thoughts.
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop! They BIG MAD 😡 and Scared 😱. Nothing will stop this movement and culture over here. Sorry! Not sorry. 😁✌🏾— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 6, 2019
"Can't Stop, Won't Stop!" James wrote after several crying-laughing emojis. "They BIG MAD and Scared. Nothing will stop this movement and culture over here. Sorry! Not sorry."
Even more impressive, James took the time out of his "Taco Tuesday," normally reserved for producing the NBA's latest viral videos, to tweet his support for Paul. James also retweeted a few people who commented on the rule, including fellow NBA players Evan Turner and Wilson Chandler, along with comedian and actor Kevin Hart.
The “rich Paul” rule tho 🤦🏽♂️ smh— Evan Turner (@thekidet) August 6, 2019
S/o to Rich Paul— Wilson Chandler (@wilsonchandler) August 6, 2019
The NBA and the NCAA have cultivated a working relationship over the years, since most of the NBA's top players have historically competed at Division I universities before entering professional waters. However, more options have recently opened up to circumvent the traditional route of NBA prospects playing in college, namely opportunities overseas, in the G League or in prep schools.
Further, there is a strong belief that in the near future the NBA will once again, eliminating the "one-and-done" rule that has been in place since the 2006 draft.