This is a little too conspiracy-theory-ish for my taste, but it's almost gotten to the point where it has to be discussed because not only is it no longer a conspiracy theory, but it's beginning to shape up like it's not even a theory at all--it's a story of epic manipulation that the NBA has either never seen, or has never shared with the media and public.
Dan Fegan, from Relativity Sports, is one of the most prominent NBA Agents in the business. His client list is longer than an NBA roster, and has names like DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, Chandler Parsons, Ricky Rubio, and John Wall. Oh, yeah, and DeAndre Jordan. Dan Fegan is also really close friends with Mark Cuban. It's well documented, just do a quick google search and you'll see for yourself. Their relationship is cited on HoopsHype and other reputable basketball-nerd websites.
Zach Lowe has it too:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Parsons is the lead recruiter, but the underlying Mark Cuban-Dan Fegan (agent) relationship is obviously key here.</p>— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZachLowe_NBA/status/617074279012794368">July 3, 2015</a></blockquote>
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I haven't released this yet because I can't guarantee that it's true, but I received a tip last weekend that Fegan had promised Cuban that he would deliver DJ before the season even ended. I can't guarantee that this tip was valid but the Clippers were rumored to be trying to get the Mavericks on tampering charges, and it certainly seems more likely in the aftermath of today's events.
Michael Eaves, former Clippers Live host and current SportsCenter anchor, had some truly enlightening tidbits to share:
Source close to #Clippers tells me that DJ reached out to Doc Monday night saying that he made a mistake, which triggered chain of events— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2015
Doc reached out to Chris on vacation and the plan was set in motion for everyone to be in Houston tonight and plan for him to sign at 11:01p— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2015
Feeling within DJ’s family is that Dan Fegan was pushing DJ to sign with Mavs. Fegan also represents Parsons and is tight with Cuban.— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2015
Fegan also reps Dwight Howard, who Cuban expected to get last summer. Belief is that Fegan was trying to do a makeup for Mavs with DJ.— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2015
Source also tells me that Fegan made an ultimatum to Doc prior to agreement w/ Mavs that LAC would have to trade CP3 to keep DJ.— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2015
Doc obviously refused, but it plays into the belief that Fegan never wanted DJ to stay with #Clippers, but rather sign with Cuban/Mavs.— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2015
Members of DJ’s family also reached out to family members of other players over the weekend. DJ’s family wanted him to stay in LA.— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2015
Source tells me that once the attention was off DJ, he was able to sit back and see big picture. Realized then that LA was best option.— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2015
Just stop for a second. Go re-read some of those tweets.
Isn't it obvious what happened here? DeAndre didn't just buy all of Mark Cuban's promises all along; he had his trusted advisor and agent in his ear every step of the way, blowing a minuscule high-5 "beef" with Chris Paul out of proportion and pushing Jordan towards the Mavericks.
Even DJ's own family, the people who care about him most and are closest to him, saw the manipulation that was taking place and were so determined to help him break out of Fegan's control that they actually placed calls to his former teammates asking them to help convince DeAndre to return.
I'll take "Things that have never happened in the NBA before" for 1,000, Alex.
We're seeing a unique event take place today, and it's happening in the public eye for the first time ever. This wouldn't be possible without the twitter era of instantaneous media, but here we are: a back-room agent-owner agreement and the subsequent manipulation of a star athlete has been exposed, and the ramifications could be huge for all parties.
Cuban is liable for a massive fine and punishment for what could end up being the most complex tampering scheme the NBA has ever uncovered. Fegan could (read: definitely should) lose his job, and if he doesn't, he'll lose a lot of clients and teams won't want to do business with him. The Clippers could develop a bad reputation around the league for stealing back a guy who had committed to another team. Other agents around the league will have to clean up their act.
For now, we'll wait for the details, and then we'll wait for the fallout. But don't underestimate the events that are taking place in the NBA today, and don't underestimate our role in it, because without the mass social media, there'd be no story here.