Reports: Thunder’s Kevin Durant to leave agent, sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports
Thunder forward Kevin Durant will leave agent Rob Pelinka and Landmark Sports to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, according to multiple reports.
“We are honored and blessed to have worked on behalf of Kevin for a brief period of time,” Pelinka told the Sports Business Journal in a statement.
“[Durant] wants Jay-Z to handle his branding,” a source told Yahoo! Sports. “He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn’t say no.”
Durant, 24, finished second in the 2013 MVP voting and averaged 28.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the Thunder, who advanced to the Western Conference semifinals before being eliminated by the Grizzlies. The four-time All-Star and three-time scoring champion led Oklahoma City to the Finals in 2012.
The All-NBA First Team selection placed No. 5 on a Forbes’ list of the NBA’s top earners back in January and placed No. 12 on Sports Illustrated’s “Fortunate 50″ list of the highest-earning athletes back in May, ranking fifth among NBA players. Durant’s current endorsements include Nike, Sprint, and Skullcandy and he ranked No. 3 among jersey sales back in April. He just completed the second year of a five-year, $89 million maximum contract that runs through the 2015-16 season.
Rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z — real name Shawn Carter — sold his small ownership stake in the Nets to pursue a career in athlete representation. His clients include Yankees star Robinson Cano and WNBA star Skylar Diggins; Durant would be his first major NBA client. Yahoo! Sports reported in April that Carter’s Roc Nation Sports business will partner with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to negotiate contracts and market athletes.
Durant previously left agent Aaron Goodwin and Goodwin Sports Management to sign with Landmark Sports in March 2012.