Lakers Video: Rich Paul Shares Story Of First Meeting With LeBron James
Rich Paul LeBron James Lakers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The relationship between Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and sports tycoon Rich Paul is one of the more famous partnerships in sports. Paul has represented James since 2013 when the two left Creative Artists Agency to start Klutch Sports Group.

Since then, he’s built an impressive client list, representing Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, De’Aaron Fox, Anthony Edwards and Trae Young among many others in the league. Six Lakers players are clients of Paul’s, by far the most of any team in the NBA. He’s also been a key voice for Davis during times of scrutiny this season.

His meteoric rise over the years began with a spontaneous meeting with LeBron at the Akron Airport in 2002. Paul recently shared the story of that meeting and how it came together while on the Up And Adams Show:

After graduating from high school, Paul made a living selling vintage jerseys in Cleveland out of his trunk. Paul shares how selling those jerseys was a leader in fashion, but that a music video by rapper Fabolous is the reason LeBron sparked a conversation with the agent.

When James ran into Paul wearing a Warren Moon jersey that day, it impressed him and prompted the two to exchange contact information. Paul ended up selling James a vintage Magic Johnson Lakers jersey soon. Just a year later, Paul joined LeBron’s inner circle after the 2003 NBA Draft and the rest is history.

Paul also had a major role in Davis’ trade to the Lakers in 2019. Since then, his relationship with the Lakers front office has been direct and honest. After LeBron made comments during the 2022 All-Star weekend about possibly returning to Cleveland, Paul held a meeting with Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka to ensure their relationship is still strong. That seemed accurate since Paul negotiated a new Lakers extension for James last August.

Jeanie Buss proud of Lakers fighting through 2-10 start

It’s been a rollercoaster season for the Lakers. They started the season 2-10, had a major overhaul during the trade deadline and made a strong run to secure the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

Lakers governor Jeanie Buss expressed how proud she is of the team, who she said committed to each other and made a strong playoff push. Buss has received her fair share of criticism in the last year, but seems to have helped steer the Lakers in the right direction.

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