NBA Player Agents Angry About Perceived Loss of Power

by November 11, 2011

It’s important not to underestimate the role that agents are playing in this labor war, and they’re not happy with what they see as the NBA’s blatant attempt to rob them of their negotiating power for clients. From the Plain Dealer: “Cleveland native Mark Termini has been an NBA agent for 25 years. So has Bill Duffy, one of the so-called Super Seven, an unofficial advisory group of highly respected agents that represents roughly 50 percent of the players in the league. In their admittedly biased opinions, one little-discussed consequence of the recent deals struck between the NBA and its players association is the diminishing impact agents have in the league. They don’t think it’s unintentional, and they don’t think it’s likely to be reversed whenever the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) ends the lockout that reached its 133rd day on Thursday. ‘The agents represent a threat to the control of the owner and the team,’ said Termini, who has represented many of the top players from Ohio, including Jim Jackson, Brad Sellers, Earl Boykins and Kosta Koufos. ‘They want to just deal with the player. They’re going to tell him what to do, where to go, when he’s hurt, when he’s not hurt, what doctor to go to, what’s a good deal, what’s a bad deal, when he’s traded, what time to report. The agent gets involved in all of those decisions on behalf of the player and it’s burdensome to the team. They don’t like it. They’d like to eliminate that. So in these negotiations, as the options for the players become fewer and fewer, it has the hand-in-glove effect of reducing the role of the agent.’ When Duffy was asked if he and the other members of the Super Seven agreed with that assessment, he said emphatically, ‘Without question.'”