Family Acting as Agents: It’s just not right!
Watching the NBA draft Thursday made me think of this topic and how wrong it is. An ESPN reporter asked Mike Conley Sr., the agent of Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr, why he is the best choice to be representing both of these future NBA superstars. His answer: “This business is about trust and both of them know they can trust me.” That answer right there is nothing more than a cop out.
Is he trying to say that Greg and Mike Jr. cannot trust anyone else? Absolutely not. What he is really trying to say is that he wants to represent them himself for personal benefit; that’s it. He is one of those parents that cannot take a backseat to his child’s success and constantly has to be hands on. He is an agent with BDA, the most successful athlete representation firm in the NBA (Editors Note: Is BDA the most successful firm in the NBA? Leave your feelings in the comments section.), and he has no experience representing NBA players. There is no way he should start his career as the agent for the number 1 pick Greg Oden, who is a close family friend and the number 4 pick Mike Conley Jr. (his son). The smartest thing for both Mike Jr. and Greg to do would have been to sign with Bill Duffy himself.
Even Mike Conley Jr. mentioned in an ESPN interview that it is kind of weird to have his father as his agent. Well that should say it all, a client/agent relationship should never be awkward. Who in their right mind would choose an agent with whom he has an awkward relationship? It’s absurd. You know the saying never go into business with family? A situation like this makes the saying ring true. Mike Jr. went on to say that it is weird to talk to Mike Conley Sr. the dad one minute and the agent the next minute. For Mike Conley Sr. to think that he is the best agent for Greg Oden and his son is a joke. Enough about Mike Sr, I’m tired of this guy.
A perfect example of how the agent business can put a strain on a family is the example of Drew Brees and his mother [Drew Brees Tells His Mom to Take a Timeout from TV Ad]. Back in 2001, Drew Brees finished up a phenomenal college career and was getting ready for the NFL draft. It was during this time that Drew’s relationship with his mother took a turn for the worse. Drew’s mother wanted to represent him as an agent and Drew was having no part of it. Since then, their relationship has been sour to say the least. It takes some kind of person to back her child into a corner and insist that he chooses her as his agent. Can you imagine ruining a family because your son decided to choose an experienced certified NFL agent? It’s sad that this is even a topic of discussion, but sometimes people will do whatever is necessary to better themselves, even at the cost of their friends or family.