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Agent Aaron Goodwin wins the first LeBron lotteryPosted: Wednesday May 14, 2003 10:03 AM
Updated: Wednesday May 14, 2003 4:27 PM
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Aaron Goodwin won his own LeBron James lottery.
James named Goodwin his agent Wednesday, a week before 13 NBA teams hope to land the Akron high school superstar star in the league's draft lottery.
James' selection of Goodwin, the longtime representative for Milwaukee Bucks star guard Gary Payton, has been expected for months. It also ended a nearly two-year courtship by sports agents trying to sign a 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, who first saw James play in an AAU game two years ago, has been part of the 18-year-old star's inner circle for some time.
He attended several of James' St. Vincent-St. Mary games this season and sat courtside with his mother, Gloria, at last month's Jordan Classic All-Star game in Washington. Goodwin also attended the April 25 news conference at the school 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, 42, recently accompanied James to meetings with representatives for Reebok and Adidas, two of the many companies making endorsement pitches to the projected No. 1 pick in next month's 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 told ESPN.com he is close to announcing a memorabilia deal with a trading card company.
The agent told The Associated Press that 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 along with his twin brother, Eric, from offices in Seattle and Oakland, Calif.
Recently, Goodwin was ranked 39th in the Sports Illustrated's list of the 101 most influential minorities in sports. James was 101st.
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."