NBA agents annihilate LeBron James for ‘insatiable’ ego, claim he’s behind Klutch Sports clients getting ‘screwed’

Brad Sullivan
6 Min Read

In a new survey of NBA agents, a majority of those questioned indicated that Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is the league’s best player, but also directed criticism at his personality and ethics.

Ben Standig and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic wrote about the survey of 20 agents, who were asked different questions related to the NBA. In the case of James, a number of those who expressed criticism toward him also agreed that he was the top NBA player.

Despite that lofty standing, one agent dismissed James’ off-the-court approach and claimed that the superstar’s actions weren’t genuine.

“Transcendent talent, but an overchoreographed public image and off-the-court persona,” the agent said. “Too obviously rehearsed and planned. Not genuine. An obsession with creating a legacy instead of letting the legacy create itself.”

Another agent praised James’ focus on social justice issues, but hinted that the frequent comments made by James were done to bolster the veteran’s ego.

“Terrific player but an insatiable ego. Has done some good things societally,” the agent said. “I think that’s important. He’s put his money where his mouth is, which I like, but his mouth is everywhere. That’s the problem. … People that criticize him, it’s just incredible. I’d love to know what they’ve accomplished in their lives.”

James’ relationship with Rich Paul, the founder of Klutch Sports Group, was also called into question by one agent. That lengthy criticism of James was couched by the agent’s belief that the superstar ranks just below Michael Jordan among the greatest players in the history of basketball.

“I think he’s an all-time phenomenon. An amazing career,” the agent said. “I think he’s a notch below Michael Jordan still but I think it’s amazing how he’s evolved. It’s amazing what he’s done and continues to do. The bad thing, the only bad thing, everyone is afraid to say this and I’m not afraid to say it individually, but I’m just saying this because it’s true. And everybody knows this, who is in this business.

“The worst thing that LeBron is doing is forcing this power with Rich Paul and what that is, in terms of, he’s a player, but he has prowess in the media space. His company Spring Hill, that’s awesome. Doing the movies and all of the projects. That’s so commendable. I love that. But now that they’ve jumped into the agent game, which the reality is, it’s illegal for a player, particularly if you’re in the state of California, to be licensed to represent talent.

“Now I know it’s this façade that it’s Rich Paul, but it’s really LeBron who recruits for Rich Paul. So it’s almost like they’re trying to control AAU at the NBA level. This is my AAU team and they’ve carried that to the highest level. And because of his power and his prowess, people, the young players are seduced by LeBron James in the same way people were seduced by Michael Jordan with David Falk. He went from having Michael Jordan and a few other players, to getting the top players in the NBA, because of the Jordan factor. Rob Pelinka had tremendous success as an independent agent because he had Kobe Bryant and the players idolized him. So, the fact that LeBron recruits and has empowered Rich Paul, and I get it, on the top guys, but if someone does their research, a lot of these guys have really gotten screwed, a large number of them, by mismanagement.

“There’s at least five or six massive casualties. Nobody is saying anything and you can even say that the union should take some responsibility because they represent all of the players, not just LeBron James. Because this is anonymous. I hope you have the courage to put this out there, because nobody is talking about this but this is the reality, and if you ask any other agent what I just said, they would all agree.”

Competition among agents can often be as volatile as action within an NBA game, which helps explain why the agents might have such mixed feelings toward James and those close to him.

In reality, James has been dealing with criticism directed toward him for the past two decades, which is why he’s not likely to give the above comments much thought.

James is presumably more interested in basking in his fourth NBA title, while already preparing for his 18th NBA season, whenever that gets underway.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.