Kauffman’s latest clients continue coaching, front office focus

Kauffman’s latest clients continue coaching, front office focus

By Liz Mullen, Staff Writer



auffman Sports Management, an agency that specializes in representing basketball coaches and front office executives, has signed several clients in the last few months, including former NBA player Steve Blake, who has an eye on a career in coaching.

Kauffman Sports also signed Arturas Karnisovas and negotiated his deal to become general manager of the Denver Nuggets, and signed Scott Perry and negotiated his deal to become the executive vice president of basketball operations for the Sacramento Kings.

Spencer Breecker, managing partner of Los Angeles-based Kauffman Sports, negotiated both deals.
Former NBA player Steve Blake is likely to enter coaching.

The agency also added Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Darko Rajakovic as a client. All of the new clients were not previously represented for coaching and front office negotiation work. Kauffman Sports also represents clients for marketing, speaking engagements and broadcasting and media work.

Breecker also recently negotiated a deal for Bobby Marks, a longtime client who had been at The Vertical, to join ESPN with The Vertical founder Adrian Wojnarowski. Marks, who worked in the front office for 20 years for the New Jersey and now Brooklyn Nets, joined ESPN as ”NBA front office insider” late last month, after working with Wojnarowski at The Vertical since December 2015.

For Blake, it is possible that Kauffman Sports could find media or other work for him, but it is likely that his next job will be in coaching, Breecker said.

After helping lead Maryland to the 2002 NCAA national championship, Blake played point guard for eight NBA teams and became a respected journeyman inside the league.

Kauffman Sports has a history of helping NBA players transition successfully into coaching. The agency signed former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse in 2015 and got him a job with the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach.
Stackhouse became head coach of the Raptors’ developmental team, Raptors 905, where he led the team to the NBA D-League championship and won Coach of the Year honors this year.

Breecker said those accomplishments bode well for Stackhouse’s coaching career.

“Everyone already knew that Jerry was a leader and very experienced NBA player, but for anybody who doesn’t have head coaching experience, there is always going to be that question: ‘Can he manage the team from every perspective?’” Breecker said. “And he definitely proved it. They had one of the winningest teams in D-League history.”

> CAA SIGNS COVINGTON: CAA Sports has signed Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington for representation on and off the court.

CAA Basketball Co-Head Leon Rose and agent Drew Morrison will lead the team representing Covington. He was formerly represented by Independent Sports & Entertainment.

Covington finished fourth in the voting for NBA Defensive Player of the Year, an honor that went to Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green last month.

Undrafted out of Tennessee State in 2013, Covington played in the D-League. The 76ers drafted him No. 1 in the D-League draft in 2014, after he was named MVP of that league. The 76ers recently exercised a team option on Covington, and he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer if the club doesn’t sign him to an extension.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.