Why Did Jason Thompson Pick Andre Buck?
Want to know what it takes to land a professional athlete client? I am not the person you should be asking. The best practices for recruiting professional athletes can be found straight from the mouths of those who have made that very tough decision…the decision of picking a sports agent for representation. No one knows better about what it takes to have them sign their name on a Uniform Player Contract with yours attached as the certified representative.
Jason Thompson of the Sacramento Kings is going into his second year in the NBA. Before embarking on his journey from tryout to tryout and eventually being selected by the Kings, Thompson had to make a choice about representation. He went with Andre Buck of Creative Artists Agency, and is still with Buck today. Sure, Thompson has not been with Buck for all that long, but in today’s landscape of players switching agents by the day, credit has to be given to any agent who can hold onto a client for any considerable length of time.
Thompson recently talked about what he was looking for in an agent and why Andre was the right person for him.
“Nowadays, guys usually go with agents just because of their name, and they don’t have a real relationship with them,” Thompson said. “For the younger guys, they say, ‘Go with an agent you’re comfortable with, feel comfortable around, feel supported by, get along with and make sure they’re on the same page (as you).
Relationships are key, but as Jason admits later in the interview, many young athletes look over this important aspect and instead sign an agent or agency based on name recognition alone. This can be a big mistake. Sure, agents get a “name” by representing high profile athletes and often because of something extraordinarily good they have done for their clients, but that does not necessarily mean that the person is right for every athlete.
“My agent, Andre Buck, is really supportive, and Leon Rose with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) Sports really helped me out on scheduling the workouts because, obviously, you can’t plan them last minute. So everything was planned, but once I started doing well additional workouts were planned.”
Thompson and Buck were together before the workouts, before the NBA draft, before any negotiations with the Kings commenced. A basketball player needs to have that level of comfort with an agent so that he can contact the agent every hour during those stressful workouts if need be. Kudos to Buck and Thompson for forging a successful relationship that hopefully will last for their lives. Every week we hear about athletes changing agents. If athletes took Thompson’s advice, perhaps we would see a decline in that type of news.