SBJ/April 3-9, 2017/Labor and Agents

Montag Group repping NBA veteran Butler for broadcast work

The Montag Group has signed Caron Butler, a veteran NBA player who has made numerous television appearances in recent years, for representation in broadcasting work.

Butler has appeared on ESPN’s “The Jump” and was a guest analyst on ESPN2’s coverage of last year’s NBA draft. He has made appearances on NBA TV and TNT as well.

“He has been smart in that he has been on programs dozens of times throughout his career, so he has already gained valuable experience at Turner, with NBA TV and ESPN,” said Sandy Montag, Montag Group president and CEO.

Caron Butler interviews the Cleveland Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith.
Photo by: NBAE / GETTY IMAGES
Montag noted that networks start hiring basketball analysts after the NBA Finals in June. “But we are going to look during the playoffs and the rest of the season to see what Caron can do now,” he said.

Butler was the No. 10 pick in the 2002 draft out of UConn, and last played for the Sacramento Kings last year, but he has not announced his retirement. He is represented on the court by I AM Sports & Entertainment founder Raymond Brothers.

Brothers has been representing Butler in some of the television work he has been doing, but reached out to Montag to assist with his broadcasting career.

Butler is also the author of a book, “Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA,” in which he details overcoming being a gang member and drug dealer in his early teens before becoming a star player in college and an NBA champion. The book, published in 2015 by Lyons Press, has won acclaim.

“He is just a role model,” Montag said. “He really had a tough life and turned it around.”

> UFC WINS ROUND OVER BELLATOR: A federal magistrate judge has ruled in favor of the UFC and transferred a case that Bellator filed against its rival from Los Angeles to Nevada.

Bellator sued the UFC in Los Angeles federal court to quash or modify subpoenas it was served by the UFC to produce, among other things, athlete contracts without redaction. A hearing had been set for last week on the issue.

However, that hearing was canceled when U.S. Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver ruled in favor of the UFC’s motion to transfer the matter to U.S. District Court in Nevada, where the case is being tried.

A group of former UFC fighters is suing the UFC, alleging it is a monopoly, and the UFC is saying in court papers it needs information from Bellator, which bills itself as the next largest competitor in the MMA space, for its defense.

Now the question of how much information Bellator must produce and the type of protective order that will cover that information will be heard by U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen in Nevada.

Leen has been overseeing the production of documents and subpoenas in the discovery in the litigation. The UFC said in court papers that it has issued 52 subpoenas of people in the MMA industry it is seeking to depose and that the plaintiffs in the action have served a similar number of subpoenas.

“Plaintiffs have alleged that [the UFC] has locked up all or virtually all ‘elite’ athletes and that any ‘elite’ athlete looking to earn a living ‘must sign exclusively with the UFC and compete only against UFC athletes,’” the UFC said in court papers. The UFC “needs contracts that show that former UFC athletes and others who have never competed for the UFC can and do compete outside of the UFC and obtain lucrative – and in some cases superior – compensation from competitors, such as Bellator.”

The UFC lawsuit in Nevada is expected to continue through the end of next year. The fighters’ motion for class certification is due in October of this year and motions for summary judgment in the matter are due next March. A new hearing date to determine how much information Bellator must give the UFC had not been set by midweek last week.

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


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