Gordon hangs with notorious agent

April 10, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
pelinkaMany Indiana University fans probably wondered why the man sitting next to Eric Gordon at Monday’s press conference looked familiar. Gordon told the world he was leaving IU for the NBA while sitting next to one of the most controversial sports agents of his time.

IU faithful first got to know Rob Pelinka as the choir boy-looking jump shooter coming off the bench for the University of Michigan during the early days of the Steve Fisher era. He was a freshman on the 1988-89 Michigan team that won the NCAA title. Pelinka played alongside UM’s Fab Five, which lost national title games in 1992 and 1993.

Long after college hoops fans stopped cheering for Pelinka, he earned a law degree at Michigan and began scaling the ranks as a sports agent at SFX, which is owned by Clear Channel.

Pelinka worked alongside Arn Tellem, who represented some of the biggest names in the NBA, including Jermaine O’Neal, Reggie Miller and Kobe Bryant. When Tellem left SFX for Wasserman Media Group in 2006 and Pelinka stayed behind, speculation about the divide swirled. Bryant, who once lobbied Tellem to drop O’Neal because the Pacers big man was deflecting Tellem’s attention from the Lakers star, stayed behind with Pelinka when Tellem departed.

But Pelinka’s most notorious move came in 2004, when Cleveland Cavaliers officials said the agent flatly lied to them and reneged on a handshake deal concerning power forward Carlos Boozer.

According to sources in Cleveland, Boozer and Pelinka approached the Cavs about letting Boozer out of the last year of his contract in June 2004. The Cavs could have had Boozer on the roster the next season for $695,000, but the team did not pick up their option, the club said, after Boozer had committed to re-signing for the team's full mid-level exception--somewhere around six years and $40 million. Two weeks later, Boozer signed a six-year $68 million deal with the Utah Jazz.

Many team owners and managers said they would rather not negotiate with Pelinka after the Boozer deal. But Pelinka’s ability to draw an all-star roster to SFX mandated that many NBA team officials come to the table.

Gordon’s father, Eric Gordon Sr., said the younger Gordon has not yet signed with an agent. But he said his son would sign with one soon, and Pelinka is a frontrunner. If Gordon does sign with Pelinka, the former Hoosier, NBA sources said, would quickly become one of the agent’s top three clients.

See below for Pelinka’s NBA clients and how much they’ll make this season.
Kobe Bryant $19.5 million
Carlos Boozer $11.6 million
Chris Kaman $8.6 million
Corey Maggette $7.8 million
Gerald Wallace $7.5 million
Morris Peterson $5.4 million
Derek Fisher $4.4 million
Keyon Dooling $3.6 million
Andre Iguodala $2.8 million
Channing Frye $2.5 million
Julian Wright $1.7 million
Marcus Williams $85,432
Total $75.4 million
  • Notorious or not, Pelinka appears to be affective as an agent. He definitely puts his players (and his own) interests first. But I'm sure Eric Gordon doesn't care about that. After all, he said he is not going to the NBA for fame or money ... but rather for the challenge. Nice.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............