Communication is key for many things, but especially for Klutch Sports Group CEO and founder Rich Paul, who represents multiple superstar professional athletes through his agency. Known for his relationship and business partnership with LeBron James, Paul also represents another Los Angeles Lakers star in Anthony Davis.
The Lakers big man was finally having a successful season individually after going through the rollercoaster of injury troubles and harsh criticism from the media the last couple of years. As Davis’ agent, Paul is there to guide the eight-time NBA All-Star through the good and the bad though, which includes yet another injury with Davis being ruled out indefinitely with a stress issue in his foot.
In a recent interview with GQ’s Sam Schube before Davis’ injury, Paul was asked about what the conversations are like with his client when things get tough like they have been the past several seasons due to his play and injuries. Like any relationship, it goes back to the belief you have in the person and use that to motivate them throughout their career:
Well, I think the first thing is, you’ve got to understand media. And I think the media has the job. Some of it’s scripted, some of it’s based on analytics, some of it’s based on viewership. When you talk about these topics, you see a rise in the viewership. And so the media, as it pertains to any player, but [especially] AD, is going to kick you when you down. Over the last couple years, he’s had some really freak situations. Guy gets pushed into his knee. And then I think the one before that, or the year before that, was a hamstring or a groin, whatever it was. Those are the things that happen when you play the sport. People act like, “Oh, he’s just hoping to go out and get injured.” Or, “The guy don’t want to play.” It’s stupidity at times, but that’s what comes with it. But for me, it’s always been the same as with any guy, especially at that level. There’s no doubt in the talent, and in the ability to play the game at the high level—I think he’s shown that.
My message is the same: keep pushing. And my message has been the same with him: He’s a guy you got to play through. I don’t care who’s on your team, you got to play through him because he’s the one guy that, in most cases, is going to have a mismatch on the floor every night.
Paul is not the only one backing up Davis’ stardom as James has also come to his defense, constantly showing support for his teammate.
The support system Davis has around him is unique, unlike any other NBA superstar. With Paul’s encouragement and Davis’ determination to prove the haters wrong for both he and the Purple and Gold, the relationship between the agent and the 2020 NBA champion is going back to producing its fruit.
Davis injury may affect Lakers’ trade plans
With the trade deadline just around the corner, it will be interesting to see which direction the Lakers go. In the wake of Davis’ injury, L.A. may pivot and only make smaller trades given the uncertainty with their star big man.
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