If you can’t beat them, talk badly about them. That seems to be the default move of ‘anonymous NBA agents’ when it comes to LeBron James’ super-agent Rich Paul. First, an anonymous agent accused Paul and James of “illegal” recruiting, which turned out not to be the case. Now more anonymous agents feel like Paul is getting too much exposure for his clients — which is kind of his job.
Paul’s Klutch Sports agency hosted a Pro Day for clients Thursday, Oct. 29 at the Sports Academy in Los Angeles. It features Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Maxey, who could potentially be top draft picks and among the NBA’s brightest future stars.
Klutch’s current all-stars such as James, Anthony Davis, Trae Young, Tristan Thompson, Draymond Green and others also came to the event to watch. It was broadcast by ESPN2.
This made some agents say it was “unwarranted exposure,” according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
While Paul and James opted for silence the first time ‘anonymous’ said something, they were here for it this time.
In a lengthy Instagram post, which included a photo of all of Klutch’s clients together at the Pro-Day, Paul had a message for his critics.
“This is much bigger than makes and misses! When black it’s discredited, it’s critiqued, narratives are driven. It’s a shock when the black athlete isn’t making the black agent work for free, or feel as if it’s a privilege to represent them but instead respect their practice and expertise. Why?” Paul asked after thanking everyone for their support of his athletes. “When is the other way around, the athlete should be lucky to have the agent and every move is genius. Why?”
He let his haters know their words wouldn’t stop him, or his clients, from excelling.
“Discouragement has killed more people than guns, but it won’t work here. These men are more than athletes, and I couldn’t be more proud to work with them. The old narratives won’t work,” Paul continued. “Young kids, this picture is what kicking discouragements ass looks like! Keep believing in yourselves, it will happen for you!”
James also came to Paul and Klutch’s defense. In his Instagram story, James reposted the photo with the caption “ANONYMOUS THESE” next to an emoji of some peanuts.
Fans once again played defense for the duo.
“Any agency can hold a pro day. Just cause you can’t get on ESPN, is a you problem, not a Rich Paul is breaking the rules problem,” user @Wells_P tweeted.
“They’re embarrassed that they spent all this time and money getting MBAs and going to law school and a guy who hasn’t done either is running circles around them in making moves and doing business, plus another reason that should be obvious by now,” added Twitter user @JJBittenbindr.