Headline NBA Players Sports Agents

The Secret Weapon Behind LeBron James’ Agent Rich Paul

LeBron James' Cleveland-based agent Rich Paul is gaining credibility through his association with Mark Termini.
LeBron James’ Cleveland-based agent Rich Paul is gaining credibility through his association with Mark Termini.

The hottest player in the NBA is undoubtedly LeBron James of the Miami Heat.  The Most Valuable Player award should be shipped to Miami and sit waiting there for the season to end so that it can be officially awarded to him. James has everything in the world going for him right now, and his NBA salary is not too shabby, either.  This season he is earning $17.545 million and next year he will make 19,067,500 with the Miami Heat.  Thereafter, little is known.

James could choose to stay with the Miami Heat for all six years of his current contract, or one of his two early termination options could be exercised (one in 2014 and one in 2015).  I’d take a flutter on Party Bingo he stays in Miami.  His agent, who will assist James with his decision making process, is a childhood friend named Rich Paul, who formerly worked with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) before venturing off to start his own firm, Klutch Sports Group.  People said Paul was unproven.  People said he did not have the proper credentials.  Even though Paul now represents James, along with Tristan Thompson, Eric Bledsoe, Kevin Seraphin and Cory Joseph, others still knock him for his alleged lack of experience.

But one thing many have failed to notice is that Paul is not at it alone at Klutch Sports Group.  In fact, Paul sought and secured the help of Cleveland-based agent Mark Termini to assist Paul with contract negotiations.  Termini has been in the representation business for two decades and has served as the agent for many former first round picks.  His main client today is Kosta Koufos on the Denver Nuggets.  The duo have a stronghold on Cleveland, and may combine their efforts to represent future 2013 first round NBA Draft picks.  More will be known as teams continue to get knocked out of the NCAA Tournament.

Paul publicly states that teaming up with Termini was not about legitimacy, but many agents outside of the relationship fail to believe Paul’s position.  It does not matter.  Those on the outside are often jealous of the position that Paul and Termini find themselves in; feeding off of each other’s strengths – Paul’s grassroots connections and deep association with LeBron James and Termini’s wealth of experience and connections with NBA executives.  It is a duo that the public has not paid much attention to, but one that could become an instant force in the recruiting game.  We may not have to wait long to see the results it quickly produces.

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.