This is certainly interesting. Late Friday night the Sports Business Journal broke news that Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant would leave his current agency, Landmark Sports, and sign for Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, becoming the first NBA player to do so. Cue up the ‘Takeover’ headlines.
It appears the move has to do with Durant increasing his brand since he’s under contract with the Thunder through the 2015-16 season. Yahoo! Sport’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the following from a league source:
“KD doesn’t want a traditional NBA agent anymore. He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding. …He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn’t say no.”
Roc Nation is attempting to represent athletes in MLB, NFL and now the NBA. Jay-Z owns a small portion of the Brooklyn Nets which could create an issue should he try to represent NBA players. ESPN’s Darren Rovell says they might be able to get around this hurdle for the time being since Durant isn’t looking for an agent to handle his contract negotiations.
The New York Yankees Robinson Cano became the first athlete to sign for Roc Nation earlier this year. The agency has only recently met with the MLB Player’s Association in an attempt to gain union certification to represent players.
Whether or not this move is a signal by Durant that he wants to increase his exposure and play in a larger market than Oklahoma City remains to be seen.