Dwight Howard has pulled a LeBron James.
He has dumped Aaron Goodwin as his agent, according to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo. Goodwin was Howard’s agent when he came out of high school and was the top pick overall by the Magic.
Howard’s next move is unclear, although sources say he planned to lean more toward letting some extended family and friends manage his business…
Goodwin had helped to turn Howard’s gregarious and good-natured way into marketing gold. He constructed an impressive platform of endorsements for Howard, including a believed $6 million-$7 million annual shoe deal with Adidas and major national campaigns with McDonald’s, T-Mobile, Vitamin Water and others. No NBA player is believed to have as many major sponsors.
Reading the tea leaves from people that worked with Howard, the rumor that he is going to turn things over to his family appear to be true, and it was something that caught the Goodwin by surprise. Turning things over to the family has had mixed — and often horrific — results for players.
LeBron James started with Seattle-based Goodwin as well, only to leave him and turn his business and marketing over to a close core of friends.
A handful of players — LeBron James, Kobe Bryant among them — make more money in endorsements, because they are flashier players with bigger names. They sell shoes. Howard has done very well with endorsements, which makes this move a surprise.
The other thing that makes it a surprise is the timing, in the middle of a big playoff run.
It will be interesting to see what — if anything — comes out about the dynamic that ended this successful relationship.