Rich Paul — The Power Broker and Superstar Agent Behind LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Others (#697)


Illustration via 99designs

“Just stay at it. It’ll turn. In the dice game, we used to have to be able to say, “Can you stand the rain?” A guy is throwing point after point after point and you would have to stand in there and stand the rain and eventually they turn and things go the other way.”

— Rich Paul

Rich Paul (@RichPaul4) is the CEO and founder of KLUTCH Sports Group, the powerhouse agency representing some of the biggest athletes across major professional sports. Paul founded KLUTCH Sports in 2012 in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, where he forged a unique and personal approach to representing top NBA talent—putting athletes first and empowering them to build careers and brands on and off the court.

In 2019, KLUTCH Sports partnered with United Talent Agency (UTA). Paul serves as UTA’s Head of Sports and is an agency partner, and he was appointed to UTA’s board of directors in 2020. In 2019, Paul was named GQ’s “Power Broker of the Year” and dubbed “The King Maker” on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 2021, TIME recognized KLUTCH Sports on its first-ever list of TIME100 Most Influential Companies, and Variety recently named Paul to their “Variety500” list of the most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry. Paul is also credited with driving the reversal of the so-called “Rich Paul Rule,” which would have banned agents without a college degree from representing NCAA student athletes.

In 2021, Paul and three former Nike executives formed a company called ADOPT, a creative agency focused on sport, wellness, nutrition, tech, and other consumer-facing products. In 2022, Paul joined the board of trustees of LACMA and the boards of directors of Funko and Designer Brands Inc. In 2023, he joined the board of directors of Live Nation. Paul is also a minority partner of the SpringHill Company.

His new book is Lucky Me: A Memoir of Changing the Odds.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercastPodcast AddictPocket CastsCastboxGoogle PodcastsAmazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. Watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by AG1 all-in-one nutritional supplementHelix Sleep premium mattresses, and Shopify global commerce platform, providing tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#697: Rich Paul — The Power Broker and Superstar Agent Behind LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Others

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Want to hear an episode with LeBron James (and Mike Mancias, his top-secret trainer)? Listen to our conversation here, in which we discussed injury prevention and recovery, self-care, career longevity, the power of sleep, environmental optimization, diet, self-talk, tattoos, and much more.

#349: LeBron James and His Top-Secret Trainer, Mike Mancias

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.



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  • [08:04] The store where Rich’s story began.
  • [10:30] The cover choice for Rich’s memoir, Lucky Me.
  • [11:43] How Rich negotiated a lucrative free agency period.
  • [17:16] Street gambling as a youth.
  • [19:35] Good advice for avoiding bad deals.
  • [21:26] Meeting and creating an enduring relationship with LeBron James.
  • [22:48] The influence of James Baldwin.
  • [24:53] Rich’s experience with higher education and thoughts on the so-called “Rich Paul rule.”
  • [28:01] Best investments of time, energy, or money.
  • [30:25] How Rich beat out bigger competition to land clients.
  • [33:56] Helping aspiring pros establish the infrastructure they need to succeed.
  • [37:52] Key ingredients for emotional support and stability.
  • [39:54] Driving home the importance of preparing for a career’s rainy days.
  • [42:42] LeBron James’ ego.
  • [45:21] Why is Rich’s book titled Lucky Me?
  • [47:04] When the entrepreneurial impulse leads to darkness.
  • [50:02] The Ernie Barnes piece in Rich’s collection.
  • [51:12] Player empowerment.
  • [53:15] Rich’s most influential confidence builders.
  • [55:28] What prompted Rich to write Lucky Me?
  • [59:02] Rich’s billboard.
  • [59:58] Parting thoughts.


“Some people define the business card and some people are defined by their business card.”
— Rich Paul

“Just stay at it. It’ll turn. In the dice game, we used to have to be able to say, “Can you stand the rain?” A guy is throwing point after point after point and you would have to stand in there and stand the rain and eventually they turn and things go the other way.”
— Rich Paul

“I don’t really have a lot of gray in me. It’s pretty black and white.”
— Rich Paul

“Now, we all have ego. Don’t get me wrong. You have to have an ego to have confidence, but you’re not invested in your ego. You’re not leading with the ego. You know when the ego is supposed to come out the room and when it’s not.”
— Rich Paul

“I know it may seem dark and gray and bleak and challenging, but you tend to think that everyone’s paying attention to you and what you’ve got going on, and so you get discouraged. But in reality, they’re not. Everyone has their own problems. Just get through yours. Get through them, continue to push, continue to persevere, and you can end up in a different spot.”
— Rich Paul

“I was extremely lucky to go through some of the things that I went through to help shape me and mold me to understand life’s challenges and to be able to survive those thunderstorms emotionally … to get out on the other side.”
— Rich Paul


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