Sports Agents

The Most Influential Sports Agents in U.S. Basketball

The following guest contribution was written by Richard Pallarino (@rpallarino). Richard is a student at CUNY-College of Staten Island and Assistant to the Director of Artist Management at Wilhelmina Models.

The author ranks Arn Tellem as the most influential NBA basketball agent.

Ever since the advent of basketball in the late 1890s, the ball-shooting game has continued to gather more popularity and earn more fans across the globe. Right from the 1980s, the NBA has earned a reputation in the world of sports, especially in North America. Starting with just 11 home teams, the NBA now consists of 30 teams that also include a team based in Canada. The NBA is widely regarded as the premiere basketball league in the world. While some enjoy their favorite players shooting the ball into the basket, there are many others who put in their efforts to make some money out of the game.

There are many basketball enthusiasts who love to gain more from the sport by placing live bets on their favorite team through sports betting websites. Basketball enthusiasts can bet online at and earn more by following the right basketball betting strategy. One needs to know how to wager on sports to bet on the NBA. Teams that deserve the bet America has placed on them, or those with the best odds, are usually the hard-working ones; hence, they are considered as the safest bets. Placing bets has become a fast-growing industry, many people want to take part as it could mean big money for some and the desire of that is high, it is also doubled when their team wins! However, there is a difference between online games and sports betting, which needs to be discussed, so people are aware of how they are navigating through playing games/betting on the internet. For instance, sports betting may not be allowed in the US, but is very popular in countries like Japan, due to the popularity of games like basketball, baseball, and soccer, and can often be accessed through a Japanese site similar to Oshima.

Getting players on board is much like betting, you’ll never know which team fits a particular type of player. This is where the role of sports agents comes into play. There are several sports agencies in the US, and each one of them has their own star agents to crack the best possible deal for their clientele. These agents work their level best to make the players a brand in themselves and get them connected to the appropriate teams. They negotiate on behalf of the players and give a new start or boost to their career. At present, there are many influential sport agents in the world of the NBA and some of these top names have been discussed further.

1. Arn Tellem

Ranked atop NBA basketball agents list, Arn Tellem is recognized as the most respected and influential sports agent in the world of basketball. During his career, which has spanned over 17 years, Tellem has negotiated for some of the most high profile and high-paying contracts in the history of NBA and MLB. Apart from his consummate relationships with the owners as well as managers of the teams in both leagues, the president of the Wasserman Media Group Management is also a leading expert on the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the MLB. Some of the top players handled by Arn Tellem include Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Joe Johnson (Brooklyn Nets), Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), Ben Wallace (Detroit Pistons) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

2. Jeff Schwartz

The second most dominant name in the NBA’s top basketball agents list is the 49-year old founder and the president of the Excel Sports Management Company, Jeff Schwartz. Jeff started his career back in 1992 by managing the professional lives of some top tennis players. It took just seven years for him to build a strong reputation in multi-sports management department; basketball being one integral part of his professional portfolio. At present, Jeff Schwartz’s company provides sports management and marketing services to some of the best basketball players including Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics), Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats) and Jason Kidd (New York Knicks)

3. Rob Pelinka

The CEO and the president of Landmark Sports Agency, Rob Pelinka is the third most powerful basketball agent in the US. He is quite popular in the world of sports agents as the official representative of Kobe Bryant, the star player of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA team. Ever since he started his career in the year 2000, Rob Pelinka has several high profile players attached to his company, including Carlos Boozer (Chicago Bulls), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Keyon Dooling (Memphis Grizzlies), Derek Fisher (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets).

These are only a few of the many other influential agents who have represented some of the top-notch American basketball players. Being pioneers in the industry, they make no mistake when it comes to picking up players and representing them. By making use of their unparalleled connections, impressive negotiating powers and creative branding and marketing of the players, these agents take care of the professional careers of the players in the best possible manner.