SBJ/20100628/Labor & Agents

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  • NBAer who took deal in Greece parts ways with agent Tanner

    Two years after signing a deal with Greek basketball team Olympiakos that media and agents praised as innovative, former NBA player Josh Childress has terminated the agent who did the deal.

    Jim Tanner, a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm Williams & Connolly, confirmed in an e-mail that he had been fired but did not say why Childress made the move.

    “We are very proud of the work we’ve done for Josh over the past six years and what we have accomplished on his behalf, including the groundbreaking contract” with Olympiakos, Tanner said. “We fully anticipate that he will have a successful return to the NBA should he choose to do so. We wish him the best.”

    Josh Childress has played two
    seasons in Greece but reportedly
    may return to the NBA.

    Childress, the No. 6 pick in the 2004 draft, had played four seasons for the Atlanta Hawks when, in July 2008, Tanner negotiated a three-year deal for him with Olympiakos. The contract was for $20 million, but because of Greek tax laws it was the equivalent of a $32.5 million deal. It was lauded at the time because it was more than the Hawks were offering Childress and seemed to give players an alternative to negotiating only with NBA teams.

    But no rush of high-level NBA players overseas resulted, and now there are reports that Childress may return to the NBA and the Hawks after only two seasons in Greece. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported in a blog that changing tax laws in Greece will make it harder for the Greek team to pay the last year of Childress’ contract.

    There is speculation that Childress will sign with Octagon. Octagon officials declined to comment.

    Under National Basketball Players Association agent rules, a player must wait 15 days after terminating an agent before signing with another. Because Childress plays overseas, it is not clear whether NBPA rules apply.

     CAA REPPING PETERSON OFF FIELD: CAA Sports, which has always represented Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on the field, is now representing him for all his off-the-field endeavors, including possible entertainment projects, a source confirmed.

    A team of football agents led by Ben Dogra and Michael Lartigue as well as the CAA Football marketing team in St. Louis will work on his representation. He was repped by marketing agent Bill Henkel.

     ROSENHAUS SIGNS GROVES: NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus has signed Oakland Raiders defensive end Quentin Groves. Groves was represented by Impact Sports.

     MASTERS SIGNS ELDRIDGE: Kelli Masters, an Oklahoma City-based lawyer and agent, has signed former University of Oklahoma tight end Brody Eldridge, who was selected in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts, for representation. Eldridge was formerly represented by Vann McElroy.

    Masters is also co-representing, with CAA Football co-head Ben Dogra, former Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

    There was some online speculation that Masters might also represent No. 4 overall draft pick Trent Williams, who terminated his agents, Eugene Parker and Vincent Taylor, but Masters said, “I never recruited Trent Williams and I am not involved in his representation and I have no idea where that came from.”

    IMG SIGNS FLANAGAN: IMG has signed Alex Flanagan, who works as a host and reporter for NBC Sports and NFL Network. She will be represented by a team managed by Sandy Montag, head of IMG’s clients business.

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

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