David Falk On WFAN: What Does Leon Rose Have To Lose?

Rumored To Be Next Knicks President

Joe & Evan
February 06, 2020 - 7:14 pm

The New York Knicks are reportedly nearing a deal to make agent Leon Rose of Creative Arts Agency (CAA) their next President of Basketball Operations. 

Listen to your team news NOW.

Knicks owner James Dolan released a statement where he mentioned the search is still ongoing and he's "actively looking" for Steve Mills' permanent successor. Rose's client list includes Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns, former Knick Carmelo Anthony and Phoenix's Devin Booker. The transition into a front office role isn't too unusual for an agent to pursue. 

Rob Pelinka was tabbed as the Lakers' general manager in 2017. Golden State hired Bob Myers, who spent 14 years working as a basketball agent. Sports agent David Falk told WFAN's Evan Roberts and Kim Jones, who filled in for Joe Benigno, that there is corruption among sports agents, which the "union has done an awful job policing." Falk believes older agents such as Rose are growing "sick of the business." 

"I think this is an opportunity for (Rose) to shift gears," Falk added. "Try something new and, at his age, he's not going to stay in the agent business for more than another five years. What does he have to lose?"

Falk represented some of basketball's brightest stars throughout his career including Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing. He is often regarded as one of the most successful sports agents in the business. Rose's success, especially with Jordan, led him to become a front office candidate around the league. 

He wasn't interested. 

"I was offered about a dozen of them and I turned them all down," Falk said. "Because I was at the time representing Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Mutumbo, Boomer Esiason in football. I had my heart in the business. I loved what I was doing. Felt a tremendously strong commitment to my guys. I got one offer that was probably about 100 times what I was making. I'm not exaggerating — guy offered me $2 million signing bonus, a salary of five times of what I was making, 10 percent of the team and it just wasn't something I wanted to do."

Falk detailed what it could be like for a former agent to work alongside other agents. 

"The agent business is so cut throat that nobody wants to give another agent a remote prop when he does something amazing," Falk said. "In 1985 when I signed Patrick (Ewing)'s rookie contract, he made 55 percent more than the highest paid veteran in the history of the league. It turned the salary structure upside down. Not one person said, 'god David, thanks a million. You just made my clients a ton of money.'

"It's the opposite," Falk continued. "They come out and say, 'Patrick Ewing? New York? Everybody knows New York pays a lot. I mean my daughter could've gotten that contract.' I could give a damn what these other guys are saying ... but the idea that by being an agent that you have great relationships with other agents and they're going to turn around and give their guys to you belies the nature of the business."

Click the audio player above to listen to David Falk's interview in its entirety.