LeBron James’ agent says White athletes don’t want a Black agent

Rich Paul is regarded as one of the most powerful NBA agents representing more than 30 players including some of the game’s biggest names from Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, to  Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons to Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

Paul participated in a recent interview with The New Yorker and talked about being a Black man in a field that is predominantly white.

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Paul said that it’s hard to represent a white player. The only player that he represents is Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers, who signed with Paul back in 2019.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – MARCH 11:  Sports agent Rich Paul looks on after the game between the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Arena on March 11, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The NBA announced tonight the season has been suspended after a Utah Jazz player preliminary tested positive for the coronavirus. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“It’s very difficult for me to represent a white player,” Paul told The New Yorker. “It just is. Look around. There’s very few. I represent a player from Bosnia. But, again, he’s international. He looks at it different.”

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Paul was asked: “So White players who are American don’t want a Black agent?”

“They’ll never say that,” Paul responded while smiling. “But they don’t. I think there’s always going to be that cloud over America.”

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Paul tackles other subjects in the interview – including firing some shots at former ESPN commentator Bill Simmons, who now runs The Ringer website and podcasting company. Simmons criticized Paul’s top client James a decade ago for the TV production known as “The Decision” where the superstar announced he was leaving his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat. 

Paul said he doesn’t “speak to Bill Simmons” and intimated it is because of how the writer/commentator approached James’ choice to end his time in Cleveland. “A lot of that has to do with race, too. He wouldn’t have said that about Larry Bird. He wouldn’t have said that about J. J. Redick. You get what I am saying? ‘The Decision’ ten years ago is the norm today. It’s what everyone wants to do. Kids won’t even decide where they go to college without it being a big production, and Bill Simmons says some s*** like that.”


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