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Volume 23 No. 29
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ISE committed to expanding its basketball business

Editor's Note: This story has been revised from the print edition.

Independent Sports & Entertainment is working on expanding its basketball representation business, through hirings or an agency acquisition, while it fights a bitter legal battle against its former basketball president, NBA agent Dan Fegan.

ISE executives were already in talks with agents and companies about replacing Fegan last week, days after the company publicly announced it had fired the agent.

Fegan and two other agents who worked at ISE Basketball, Jarinn Akana and Aylton Tesch, have left ISE. The agency still employs NBA agents David Bauman, Travis King and James Dunleavy.

ISE was talking with agents and companies last week and planned to replace the agents who are now gone, but the timeline and the shape — whether through hiring individuals or acquiring a company — of the basketball replenishment effort has not yet been determined, sources said.

“ISE remains firmly committed to basketball,” the company said in a release March 10 announcing Fegan’s termination and the hiring of former NBA all-star and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson as ISE vice chairman. Chris Grancio, the former Adidas global head of basketball whom ISE hired last year as its chief marketing officer, is replacing Fegan as president of basketball on an interim basis.

It is not clear how many players left with Fegan, but two of ISE’s biggest NBA star clients, DeMarcus Cousins and Ricky Rubio, were signed to Fegan for on-the-court representation. However, those players and others may still be represented by ISE for marketing work, sources said.

— Liz Mullen