Free him from the Pacers or free him from himself?
I wish this blog existed in the height of the T.O. fiesta (I figure fiesta could fit the description), although that issue is not overwith anyway.

The big talk as of late, though, has turned to Ron Artest and his demand to be traded out of Indiana. Artest’s agent, Mark Stevens has received some press since Artest’s initial demand, and many people have been bashing Stevens for the job he has done so far.

Let’s examine why people think Mr. Stevens has done a poor job and if he deserves that type of criticism.

Gregg M. Schmidt at Field Level says:

Ron Artest needs an agent or friend or somebody to help him know what to say, when to say it and how to act. Mark Stevens didn’t do a good job at that. Where was Stevens when Artest made his desire to be traded so open?

But is that an agent’s job? Are we in the position to tell our clients what to say, how to say it, and how to feel emotionally? Or instead, are we supposed to always be behind our clients in every decision that they make and put all of our power behind each and every decision to make sure that our clients have the best opportunity to be happy? To answer Mr. Schmidt’s question, I would imagine that Mark Stevens was on the phone or with Ron Artest when he made his desire to be traded public. I believe that any good Agent would be a part of that decision.

Schmidt closes his article with:

Artest is a wild-child – but it all goes back to who keeps him in line. Mark Stevens should be replaced because he didn’t…maybe by somebody with a straight jacket and a muzzle? Artest needs to take responsibilty of his own actions, but when you’re not all there – the people around you must keep you in line (or try).

I disagree. Clients pay their agents money to guide them to make smart decisions, but also to back them up 100% if they feel otherwise. I am sure that Ron Artest felt very strongly about being traded out of Indiana, and I respect Mark Stevens for defending his client this entire time. As an agent, you must be your client’s guide, best friend, and biggest follower. By sticking by Artest, Mark Stevens has shown a sense of character to maybe forfeit his own image in the spotlight so that his client will have some protection.

[tags]Ron Artest, Mark Stevens, Pacers, Sports Agent, trade, NBA[/tags]