By Maurice Bobb
It’s not official yet, but it looks like the first NBA client at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sport agency will be Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant. The three-time NBA scoring champ fired his agent, Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports, for a chance to work with Hov, his “idol.”
“KD doesn’t want a traditional NBA agent anymore,” a league source told NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports Friday (June 7). “He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding. He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn’t say no.”
Although Hov has yet to be certified with the National Basketball Players Association, he won’t need it to represent Durant, who is in the middle of a 5-year, $89 million contract with OKC and has no immediate need for an NBPA certified agent to negotiate a new deal. Should he sign with RNS, Durant is looking for help with building his off-the-court endorsement portfolio, which include Sprint, Gatorade, BBVA Compass and Nike.
Detractors are wondering if Jay, who divested his ownership with the Brooklyn Nets to become an agent, will influence Durant to depart from his small market team for greener pastures in New York or Los Angeles after the 2015-16 season. And while some agents publicly question the decision making process of Jay’s new clients, they can’t deny what adding a player of Durant’s caliber does for his burgeoning agency.