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Petitions To Play Overseas

When UnderArmour announced that its first basketball endorsement would be for Brandon Jennings, an American born kid who would go on to play his first professional game overseas, the final piece of the puzzle was in place to legitimize the overseas experiment.  No longer are we wondering whether players will go from the NBA to a European/Russian/Middle Eastern team for more money.  We know they will.  If the opportunity presents itself and the player does not care about adjusting to a temporary new lifestyle (or maybe even has an interest in doing so), many owners outside of the United States will be hungry to make it happen.

While many teams abroad are obviously interested in acquiring top-notch NBA talent, no one has been more vocal in expressing his feelings than Panayiotis and George Angelopoulos, the billionaire brothers behind Olympiacos (the team that signed Childress).  In a recent New York Times article, Panayiotis said,

“Next season I will open up a small office for free agents in New York, and I will take petitions.”

And you can bet that American agents have already begun to write those petitions.  Not only do agents enjoy having another option for their clients (one that acts as a form of leverage to potentially drive up salaries in the U.S.), but in the back of their minds, they are thinking about that hefty ten-percent agent fee earned when their clients go overseas.  Plus, the fee is paid by the team, which means that absolutely nothing comes from the client’s pocket.  There is nothing like not having to invoice your client bugging him for money…and an extra six-percent over what you’ll get representing a client in the NBA is not so bad either.

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.

One reply on “Petitions To Play Overseas”

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