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You think these Conference Finals are hard fought?
That's friggin' child's play compared to the intense, back-stabbing, and brutal competition to become an agent representing a top NBA draft pick. Those young men are basically big pots of gold at the end of rainbows, and there are typically umpteen agents and runners who have spent years fighting for the good real estate on those rainbows.
It's about as brutal as business gets. Ask anyone who knows the industry. (In fact, coming up shortly on TrueHoop, we'll have a big ol' roundtable discussion about recruitment.)
But maybe that's all wrong! Maybe top picks really do just rain down from the sky.
Former Bull B.J. Armstrong, who is now an agent working for Arn Tellem's super-powerful Wasserman Media Group, represents Derrick Rose. Armstrong tells Darren Heitner of the SportsAgentBlog that signing Rose was no sweat:
My signing of Derrick Rose was like anything in life, I think it was just luck. I played in Chicago. Derrick is from Chicago. I really wish I could put my finger on it and say that it was something we offered and something that other agencies did not offer. Luck and being in the right place at the right time are the only things I can attribute it to. I think the timing just worked out.
OK! There you have it! The most desirable player, in a draft that has been called filthy, just blowing into town like tumbleweeds.
I appreciate Armstrong's humility here. And I think most sports fans probably do not want to know exactly how the sausage gets made in situations like this.
But this is an interview conducted by a young agent (Heitner), on a website that is all about the agent business. Seems a little more detail here could really be helpful. We don't want people thinking that if they hang around long enough, they'll accidentally end up with All-Stars on their client lists. It's just not so.
I would love to know the truth about that recruitment. Maybe it was refreshingly honest. But absent all the details, Armstrong really ought to have a line about the tremendous advantages of Wasserman Media Group, the track record, the long hours spent building the right relationships, and the strategy they have in place to ensure Derrick's long-term success, blah blah blah ...