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Did The Clips Get Falked?

Elton BrandThat’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.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Did The Clips Get Falked?”

Nice article about this hot topic. Regardless of whether or not Falk had a verbal offer with the Clippers, shame on donald sterling and the rest of the clippers brass for not locking up brand as soon as they could. They had a lot to lose if Brand went and they were foolish to try and pressure him into giving them a ‘hometown discount’. Brand is one of the best PF’s in the game, has been for a long time. He deserved a big deal like that. He is a professional and you know he will not be a bust. He just has to stay healthy. BDavis is a like a VERY small version of Kobe that the clippers can now advertise in the same arena. they can sell his jersey there. clippers management should have been focused 100% on signing brand first. brand deserved more money, so if falk was saying ‘ go get bd and we will sign’ they should have said you are more important, we want you first and then we will get him.
Signing baron davis was a good move, but baron is at the peak or very near it for his career and they just gave him a 5 year deal. It ends up they swapped davis for maggette and lost brand. i think the clippers front office gets a D so far this offseason.
I doubt the clippers offered a deal that was so close to the sixers offer. if they did, i think he would have signed immediately with the clips.

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