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LeBron James Names Goodwin NBA Agent

May 14, 2003

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Aaron Goodwin won his own LeBron James lottery Wednesday.

James’ selection of Goodwin as his agent came a week before 13 NBA teams hope to land the high school star in the draft lottery.

Goodwin, who represents Milwaukee Bucks guard Gary Payton, was expected to be the choice. Still, the announcement ended a nearly two-year courtship by sports agents trying to sign an 18-year-old client who soon will be worth millions.

``I was looking for the best individual to guide me through some critical steps in my upcoming pro career, and Aaron Goodwin is my choice,″ James said in a statement released by his publicist.

Goodwin first saw James play in an AAU game two years ago and has been part of his inner circle for some time. He attended several of James’ games this season and sat courtside with his mother at an All-Star game in Washington last month. Goodwin also was at the news conference when James announced he was turning pro.

``It’s a great opportunity to work with LeBron and his family,″ Goodwin said from his office in Oakland, Calif. ``We look forward to trying to prepare him for the NBA draft and prepare him for the business opportunities that come before him.″

Goodwin recently accompanied James to meetings with representatives for Reebok and Adidas, among the many companies making endorsement pitches to the projected No. 1 pick in the June 26 NBA draft.

James will visit Nike officials this weekend at the company’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

Now that he has an agent, James is expected to begin signing a variety of deals, including a shoe and apparel contract that analysts believe could be worth more than $20 million.

Alexandria Boone, James’ publicist, said it is ``highly likely″ there would be an announcement later this week about an unspecified endorsement deal.

Goodwin said he won’t rush into any deals.

``LeBron has a long business life ahead of him,″ Goodwin said. ``We want to take our time to make it the best possible.″

Goodwin, who claims to have negotiated $700 million in contracts for clients, runs Goodwin Sports Management with his twin brother, Eric.

Goodwin was ranked 39th in Sports Illustrated’s recent list of the 101 most influential minorities in sports. James was 101st.

Goodwin also represents Portland guard Damon Stoudamire, Chicago guard Jamal Crawford and Atlanta forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Now that he is representing James, Goodwin doesn’t see a need to expand his list of clients.

``Quality over quantity,″ he said. ``A client like LeBron comes along once every lifetime.″

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