Opinions & Features August 21, 2021 at 03:00 pm

Meet Rich Paul, the trusted agent of LeBron James and a host of NBA stars

Abu Mubarik August 21, 2021 at 03:00 pm

August 21, 2021 at 03:00 pm | Opinions & Features

Rich Paul and LeBron James talk during halftime of a 2019 NBA game. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Rich Paul was born in 1981 and grew up in Cleveland. Gun violence and drug abuse were common in his neighborhood. Paul shared a one-bedroom apartment with his dad above R & J Confectionary. By 6:00 in the morning, Paul and his dad would be up to punch in lottery tickets or sell milk and bread in Glenville. Some 21 years ago, his father died of cancer while he was still in high school.

But it was the valuable life lessons that his dad passed to him before his demise that made Paul who he is today, according to The New York Times.

His dad taught him simple life lessons of respect, love, patience, and hard work. Today, Paul is one of the most successful NBA agents in the world with his net worth estimated by Celebrity Net Worth to be $100 million.

Through his agency, Klutch Sports Group, Paul manages some of the household names in the NBA, including his friend, LeBron James. Indeed, the 40-year-old traces his success to an encounter with James nearly 20 years ago.

Paul and James met by fate. According to The New York Times, Paul and James first met at the Akron-Canton Airport when they were about to board a flight to Atlanta. Paul was wearing a vintage Warren Moron jersey which caught the attention of James. 

He inquired from Paul where he got it but it turned out that he was selling the vintage jerseys out of the trunk of his car and he was going to Atlanta to buy more. They exchanged contact, engaged in a long conversation, and eventually became great friends.

“It was fate,” Paul told The New York Times. “I could have missed the plane. I could have taken an earlier flight. I could have not worn the jersey. I could have been having a bad day and not spoken to him.”

The first contract Paul negotiated in the NBA was James’ return to Cleveland in 2014. James is now one of the biggest stars in the NBA and the only active NBA star to become a billionaire.

Aside from managing James, Paul also manages valuable NBA stars like Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green, and John Wall, among others. His agency, according to Forbes, has jumped 23 spots on the list of the world’s most valuable sports agencies.

Also, Forbes reports that Paul’s agency has made over $53m from commissions and has $1.6 billion worth of contracts under its management.

Conversations

Must Read