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Basketball Agent Happy Walters Had Interest In Purchasing Philadelphia 76ers

In October 2011, a group of individuals including former basketball agent and Assistant General Manager/General Counsel of the Sacramento Kings, Jason Levien, were approved by the NBA to purchase the Philadelphia 76ers.  The previous majority owner of the team was Comcast-Spectacor.

A Complaint dated December 22, 2011 was filed in the United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Comcast-Spectacor.  The Plaintiffs, Robert Whitsitt and Thomas Shine, allege that they had a written agreement (a January 24, 2011 email) with the chairman and executive vice president/general counsel of Comcast-Spectacor, and that based on the terms of the contract, the Plaintiffs were entitled to $2 million for introducing Comcast-Spectacor to Jason Levien (a purchaser).  However, a “purchaser” must meet specific criteria according to the agreement between Plaintiffs and Comcast-Spectacor.  Here is more on why the language within the agreement will likely be the main issue of the lawsuit.

Neither Plaintiff is unfamiliar with the world of sports.  Whitsitt was formerly the president of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers.  Shine is senior vice president of Reebok International.

Interestingly, the Complaint reveals that Jason Levien was not the only person tied to the sports agent industry who had a potential interest in purchasing the 76ers.  Happy Walters’ name is first mentioned in Paragraph 10 of the Complaint.  That paragraph states that Walters was introduced to the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor in November and December of 2010 as a representative of a potential purchasing group.  Furthermore, Happy Walters’ name is included in the January 24, 2011 email agreement as a potential purchaser of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Walters currently represents Amare Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, Corey Brewer, amongst others in the NBA and abroad.

Lawsuit v. 76ers former owner over $2 million finder’s fee

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.