Few industries are harder to break into than the sports agent industry. Established agencies are rarely looking to hire many people and starting your own agency is an even tougher battle to face. Don’t tell that to Daniel Hazan, the 23-year-old Founder of Hazan Sports Management who has already landed his client, Elijah Millsap, a contract with the Utah Jazz.
Daniel started the agency 18 months ago after selling his first business, Java Ads Inc. at the age of 21. He started Java Ads in the dorm rooms of Yeshiva University in New York City. After interning with the NBPA and selling his company, Daniel said he felt he “had the knowledge and capital to start his own agency.” That’s exactly what he did with the help of his childhood friend, Andrew Hoenig, who serves as the VP of Hazan Sports Management. Daniel is currently the youngest licensed agent in the world with a player on an NBA roster.
One of the biggest problems for those with little experience in the business is the lack of contacts and network to tap into. By his own admission, Daniel and his partners did not know anyone. The creativity in which they obtained their NBA ‘Rolodex’ really blew me away.
“I didn’t know anyone. I went on EBay and searched for business cards of NBA executives and found people selling them online” said Hazan. “A GM heard about what I was doing and gave me all of his contacts to NBA personnel.”
While he wasn’t their first client, Daniel and his team got in touch with Elijah Millsap, who was playing overseas at the time. After he signed with Hazan Sports, they, along with Deangelo Simmons (Paul Millsap’s Agent), began pushing for him to get on a D-League team. “Deangelo has been instrumental in my growth as an agent,” said Daniel. They were trying to get him on the Philadelphia 76ers Summer League team. Although the team showed interest in Millsap, they did not get the spot they were hoping for.
Later in the week, Daniel and Andrew watched the team’s opening game in which Pierre Jackson tore his Achilles tendon. They reached out to the team to see if they were still interested in Elijah to potentially fill his spot. The team told them they were not interested but, the next day, they received a call asking if Elijah was ready to go. After joining the team, the starting SG sprained his ankle. Elijah got the start, had a great game, and set the Summer League record for steals in a game (7).
After going to training camp with the Milwaukee Bucks, Millsap’s rights were traded from the LA D-Fenders to the Bakersfield Jam. The move paid off and was “crucial to Elijah’s career”, said Hazan.
Millsap played fantastic for the Jam and was called up to the Jazz on a 10-day contract. He then set the NBA record for most minutes played on a 10-day contract and ultimately landed a 3-year deal (1 year guaranteed) with the Utah Jazz.
Many basketball agents will never have a client play in the NBA so what Daniel has accomplished at such a young age is truly impressive. Hazan Sports Management will certainly be an agency to keep an eye on in the basketball world.