Agent Spotlights

Agent Spotlight: Jason Levien

Jason LevienJason Levien has a lot of things going for him. He goes after orange and blue blood (that means UF players, for you non-Gators), he lives in Miami, and he recently broke away from Greenberg Traurig to start up his own agency, Levien Sports Representation (LSR). It has not always been peaches and cream for Mr. Levien, though.

A few years ago, Levien represented a basketball player named Mario Austin in court (not with on-the-court contracts) while he was working for Greenberg Traurig. Austin’s actual agent was Jamie Knox. Anyway, Levien’s battle was against Bill Duffy and his lawyer, Gary Hall. The whole thing was a mess (I’ll let you read about it here if you are interested), but in the end, Levien seemed to have made an enemy out of one of the biggest basketball agents in the United States.

Fast forward to 2007, and you would not have even known that there was ever a battle between the superstar agent Duffy and the up-and-coming Levien. He went from representing Mario Austin in the court of law to representing Udonis Haslem in negotiations with Pat Riley and Randy Pfund of the Miami Heat. Levien is now 36-years-old, has been an NBA agent for 7 years, and is getting ready for the next NBA Draft, which will occur on June 28th. This year, he represents UVA guard JR Reynolds, Ohio State guard Ron Lewis, Ukraine center Kyrylo Fesenko, who is 20-years old.

Wendell Maxey Jr. was able to get a great quote recently out of Levien:

“I never want to get to the point where I lose my “Brand”. Part of my “Brand” is giving that individual attention and commitment to the client.” [NBA Agent Jason Levien Feels A Draft]

I have always believed that there is a lot to say about branding in any industry. No matter what business you are in, the most important brand should be your own name. If your brand is strong and your product is the best in its class, then there is no reason for a customer to go elsewhere. Part of Levien’s brand is to not let all customers have access to his product (representation), or else his brand loses its value. I like this theory.

So it seems like Levien has a good head on his shoulders. He is a graduate of Pomona College and earned a law degree at the University of Michigan. He will have much more success in the NBA in years to come.

If you have the time and would like to read more about Levien and his journey through the 2006 NBA draft (especially concerning client Yotam Halperin), I suggest reading through this article [From Tel Aviv to the Space Needle, by Way of Slovenia (With Stops in Treviso, Miami and Salt Lake City)].

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

6 replies on “Agent Spotlight: Jason Levien”

I have nothing against Levien…he appears to be very bright and seems to work hard for his clients, but keep in mind that he took all of these student-athletes out of school early or entered them into the draft prematurly: Alexander Johnson (should have went in 1st, slipped to 2nd, ended up in good situation though), Guillermo Diaz (there is an article that talks about his mom and Alvarez wanting to fire him, and where is Diaz now?), Yotam Halperin (messed up his negotiations), Matt Walsh (what happened here?), and Josh Powell. Levien is smart though – he develops good relationships in the industry (e.g., David Thorpe, draft websites) and gets good articles written about him. Why did he leave that law firm he was at? Why did Haslem leave him? But, then again, he did a good job with K Mart. If I had any b-ball skills, I’d hire Dynasty before even talking with Levien.

I really am surprised by all these nasty comments. I know this guy personally. Jason Levien has represented a friend of our family’s for years and has been honest, hard-working, smart. He is a good and decent guy and I am generally a tough judge of people.

I have heard for years that the agent business is extremely cutthroat and that there are a lot of haters, but Jason is one of the smarter agents (he taught at Harvard Law School), and from what I’ve seen, one of the more trustworthy.

And I can tell you first-hand from talking with him that Udonis considers Jason part of his family. Udonis went from being undrafted and playing overseas to a 30 plus million dollar deal in less than 2 years. I can remember Udonis wanted to go back overseas and Jason encouraged him to go after the NBA one more time. I think where he is now speaks for itself.

Jason is one of the nicest, most honest guys I know. He is generous, kind and supportive. All the negative comments are beyond slanderous. He is a winner and will always be a winner in my mind. Trust me, I know the truth…

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