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LeBron James Reportedly Leaves Creative Artists Agency to Join Rich Paul

Alex KayCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2012

HOLLYWOOD - JULY 11:  NBA player LeBron James arrives at the 2007 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 11, 2007 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Vince Bucci/Getty Images

LeBron James is making another decision.

The NBA superstar has elected to leave Creative Artists Agency and drop longtime agent Leon Rose in order to form a new partnership with Rich Paul, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

The write-up states that LeBron has no ill will toward Rose or William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley—his main representation under CAA—and wants to follow Paul as he transitions to his own agency.

The two have reportedly been close friends since James was a teenager. Paul has been a member of the superstar's inner circle and one of his trusted confidants ever since the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted LBJ in 2003.

Paul—a highly respected but relatively new agent—represented Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tristan Thompson and Eric Bledsoe during his time working under Rose at CAA.

Windhorst suggests that some of those players may be joining Paul on his way out of CAA and also points out that Chris Paul (represented by CAA, no relation) is close to the agent and is considering the move as well.

One interesting wrinkle about this move is that it breaks the NBA MVP loose from agency bonds to teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The two other Miami Heat superstars have long been represented by CAA but were informed of James’ decision prior to it becoming official. Neither has made any public comments regarding the subject.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the new partnership between James and Rich Paul is a natural extension of their pre-existing relationship:

James already had a working relationship with Paul under the umbrella of their LRMR Marketing company, a collaboration that also includes James' manager Maverick Carter and friend Randy Mims, who has emerged as a member of the Heat's traveling party. Through that association, James branched into an international marketing deal with the Fenway Sports Group, leading to his stake in Premier League soccer power Liverpool FC.

Winderman went on to note that James has switched agents before (when he left Aaron Goodwin for CAA in 2005), and his sources are stating that this move has nothing to do with a potential contract opt-out in the summer of 2014.

Despite the agency switch, it seems the King will be around to win plenty more rings in South Beach.