The New York Times is also taking note of Lonnie Cooper‘s unfortunate start to the 2008/09 NBA season. As I previously mentioned, all six NBA coaches fired so far this year are Career Sports & Entertainment clients. Not exactly something you want to deal with around the Holidays, but Lonnie knows that this business cares little about making life convenient and that work must be done at all times. I know Lonnie and the rest of the crew at CS&E will rebound, even though you better believe that his competitors will use the firings to their advantage when going after potential new clients.
Lonnie can respond by showing what he has done for a guy like Nate McMillan, who had just finished a successful season coaching the Seattle Supersonics when I first stepped foot into the CS&E office in Atlanta. McMillan’s contract with the team was up and he was weighing his available options. McMillan was being courted by a variety of teams, including the Sonics, but ended up picking the Trailblazers, with the advice of everyone at CS&E. Think he is regretting that decision? I bet McMillan would refer others to Lonnie even though six of his clients have been fired in this young season.
When the 2008/09 NBA season kicked off, Lonnie Cooper led all agents in number of NBA head coaches represented. That title is now owned by Warren LeGarie, who represents a total of seven head coaches. LeGarie got his start with SFX and is now alongside Arn Tellem, BJ Armstrong, and others at WMG. NBA regulations prohibit agents from representing both coaches and players, so LeGarie works with the coaches while Tellem and Armstrong handle the players. However, Warren serves as the primary agent for a couple of overseas players (Travis Best and Jerome Allen). LeGarie also founded the NBA Las Vegas Summer League about five years ago. Not a bad guy to know.
After LeGarie and Cooper, there is a big drop in the power of coach agents. Joe Glass has a couple of head coach clients, but Cooper and LeGarie have been the big names for a while now. Will any new coach agents step up in the near future and join the ranks of LeGarie and Cooper?