Nate Robinson not headed to the NFL, Europe maybe

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Nate Robinson liked to do a little flirting with the NFL. Which was cute, but he is due $4 million next season as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder and if you think playing some hoops in Europe puts that at risk imagine what getting trying to tackle Chris Johnson will do.

So, the NFL is out, but that Europe hoops idea….

Robinson’s agent Aaron Goodwin spoke with the French site and said that is a possibility (translation by Hoopshype).

What is the status of Nate Robinson, who wanted to resume his career as a football player?

Aaron Goodwin: The NFL is an alternative but he did not say he wanted to play in the NFL. He just wants to play basketball for now. He is interested in coming to Europe during the lockout.

Which teams are interested in getting him?

Aaron Goodwin: We talked with many teams but we have never been close to a deal. I can’t name the teams but we have been in contact with teams playing in Greece, Russia, Turkey and China. There will also be a clause in his NBA contract. I won’t let any of my clients come abroad without a return clause in the NBA.

There you have it. There are talks (although China is out for Robinson because he could not get an NBA opt out). By the way, Goodwin said there are no real Kevin Durant going overseas talks going on. Which is fine, KD sees to be finding plenty to keep himself busy stateside.

Dwight Howard jumps to Dan Fegan as agent

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Thumbnail image for Howard_game.jpgTwo months back, Dwight Howard left Aaron Goodwin as his agent, with rumors swirling a family member would take over, but now he has landed with Dan Fegan.

Which makes it a pretty good summer for Fegan, who also has John Wall on his client list.

Ken Berger of CBSSports had the story first, and the lines of reasoning from Howard’s camp.

Fegan also is a well-versed participant in the ongoing CBA negotiations that could dramatically affect Howard’s on-court earning potential. Unlike this summer’s crop of free agents, who can land one more massive payday under the current CBA, Howard and other young stars face uncertainty as owners aim to take a substantial bite out of the salaries paid to the highest-earning players.

“Dwight wanted to be represented in the CBA talks,” a person close to the Magic center said.

But what Howard was really looking for was an out-of-the-box, full-service and long-term approach to on- and off-court marketing, according to a one of Howard’s close advisors. Fegan also is now backed by the international clout and deep pockets of the French media giant Lagardere, which recently bought Fegan’s powerful BEST agency and renamed it Lagardere Unlimited.

There is something else going on here, as neither of these ring all that true from where we are sitting.

Fegan did play a role in previous CBA talks, when he was the most powerful agent going, but he is not going to have that kind of pull this time around. His current client lineup is nice, but not THAT nice.

The marketing angle makes less sense. Goodwin’s people got Howard a ton of endorsement, including McDonald’s and those ubiquitous T-Mobile ads. They worked to help him create a real social media platform to broaden his marketability. Bottom line, Goodwin did a very good job.

Fegan may as well, he’s another powerhouse lined up with a powerhouse international firm. But it still feels like a piece of the puzzle is missing from this story.

Dwight Howard dumps long-time agent


Dwight Howard.jpgDwight 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.