Did The Clips Get Falked?
That’s right, the guy who has made few (if any) NBA-related headlines since he signed Elton Brand back in 1999 is once again having his name appear in the body of many articles…again because of Elton Brand. Rumor is that William Wesley still likes him, but Donald Dell will always hate him and I believe that he does not have many friends who are fans of or executives at, the Los Angeles Clippers organization. Falk was behind the Sam Cassell buyout, which allowed Cassell to finish this past season with the Celtics, but more importantly, David Falk may be the main reason that Elton Brand will be wearing a 76ers jersey next year. Before we get into the Elton Brand story, let’s look at a couple memorable Falk quotes of recent past:
“The sports agent business has become so corrupt — I would not encourage anyone to try to become an agent right now.” – 4/22/08 [Short and Sweet]
“Instead of evolving, the sports agent business has devolved. We’re talking about reverse evolution. It’s basically unregulated and there’s wholesale cheating going on. I’m not angry about it. It’s just that it’s about buying clients instead of building relationships.” – 5/2/08 [Another Darren Interviews An Agent]
Not knowing anything about the speaker, the quotes would seem to show true concern about the devolving of a profession that was once bound by integrity, but is now being corrupted by newer entrants who have little values and show no concern for others. In fact, I partially agree with his statements. I definitely see corruption in the industry and hope that we, as a community, can do something about it. I would not discourage people from entering the profession, but instead encourage the entry of new professionals with brilliant minds and innovative spirits. Enough with that…what about Brand?
The Los Angeles Clippers really have done a remarkable job with their offseason signings. The last piece of the puzzle that would ensure them a chance to at least compete for a playoff spot was Elton Brand. This is a guy who averaged a double-double last year on a sub-par team. LA is a hotbed for athletes with extracurricular intentions (TV, movies, nightlife), so if the team had a chance of winning and the Clips were willing to pay Brand, why not stick around for a bit longer?
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports calls David Falk the empowered Bald Eagle. I won’t go there. Where I will go is to break down what occurred. Brand signed with the Philadelphia 76ers for 5-years and $82 million. Apparently the Clippers and Brand had agreed in the past that both parties would be happy with a 5-year $70 million. As far as I am concerned, that does not mean crap. Verbal agreements are just that. There is a reason that nothing was ever put in writing. But what about the fact that the Clippers were actually willing to throw Brand more than $70 million…something close to what the 76ers offered? Was this payback from Falk or are the Clippers now saying that they presented a larger offer when none was actually proposed to Camp Brand?
I honestly do not know what to think. I believe that the 76ers will be a much better team with Elton Brand and that the Clippers may have lost the piece that would have finally taken the club out of the depths of the Western Conference. We may never know if Brand would have stayed in Los Angeles had Falk relayed a late Clippers offer to his client (if Wojnarowski’s statements are true). All we do know is that a lot of people in Los Angeles are upset with the idea that their Clippers may have another disappointing season.