O.J. Mayo‘s search for a new agent may have un-officially come to a close. Mayo cannot actually sign a new NBPA licensed advisor until fifteen days after his firing of Leon Rose and CAA. But the rumor is that the search party is over and that as soon as he is able to sign a new contractual agent, O.J. Mayo will hire LaPoe “Smitty” Smith Jr.
Smitty is a basketball agent who works out of an office in San Antonio, Texas. HoopsHype and DraftExpress list LaPoe on their sites, but neither resource shows him as representing any active players. So did O.J. really fire one of the biggest agencies for a small time agent? Not quite.
While LaPoe Smith does not have any current NBA clients, he used to have his hands full representing Penny Hardaway through the injuries and the team changes. Smith has also been coaching a team, the aptly named L. Smith & Associates, in the Southern California Summer Pro League for quite some time. In fact, he had the privilege of coaching New England Patriots wide-receiver, Randy Moss, back in 2000. Bo Outlaw has been playing with Smith’s teams, as well.
So why the sudden change for O.J.? I am sure that someone was in his ear. When you are a professional athlete in any sport making decent money, people are going to start talking. But another concern for Mayo might have been that he would get lost in the CAA shuffle. Remember that CAA recently acquired Henry Thomas’s basketball practice at CSMG. Mayo had to know that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would take preference over his own affairs. Perhaps he wanted to make sure he was #1 on his agent’s list. By becoming the only client of LaPoe Smith, he knows he will be the top concern at the agency.