When the Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt in 2016, it was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski (then of Yahoo Sports) that LeBron James (then with the Cavs) and his reps at Klutch Sports tried to push the team to hire Mark Jackson (who was, at that point, repped by Klutch).
Still with me? Well, that was all put to rest when then-Cavaliers general manager David Griffin shot the idea down and eventually promoted Tyronn Lue to be the team’s next head coach, but the whole escapade has long led to assumptions that James and Klutch might eventually do the same thing with the Lakers. First when Jackson openly critiqued then-Lakers coach Luke Walton on air in 2018 when the latter was under fire, and more recently when it was reported that James “would be very enthused” by Jackson getting the now-open Lakers gig that he interviewed for this week.
However, there is one problem with that theory: According to the latest Substack dispatch from veteran NBA insider Marc Stein, not only is Jackson no longer represented by Klutch Sports, but he is “not officially repped by an agent” at all (emphasis mine):
The Hall of Famer Peter Vecsey has tweeted this on multiple occasions recently and, inspired by those tweets, I inquired Saturday morning and was told the same: Jackson is not, as frequently reported, represented by Klutch Sports or any other NBA talent agency.
Jackson was indeed a Klutch client in the past and, sources say, maintains a strong relationship with Klutch CEO Rich Paul, whose foremost client, of course, is the Lakers’ LeBron James. There is undeniably a level of support within the Klutch camp for Jackson’s candidacy with the Lakers, but Jackson’s chances of finally getting another NBA coaching shot after an eight-year wait are much stronger with Sacramento.
That last part definitely tracks, especially given that the Lakers are only just beginning their interview process while the Kings have made Jackson one of their final two candidates and are expected to decide between him or Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown “by the end of the weekend.”
Of course, it is still notable that Klutch is still on good terms with — and supportive of hiring — Jackson. But given that the Lakers and Klutch don’t seem to be completely in alignment lately, that connection may not actually help Jackson’s candidacy, in addition to the litany of other reasons it seems unlikely the team will consider him all that seriously.
Still, because the team gave Jackson an interview, until he’s hired by the Kings or otherwise ruled out, it would be foolish for us to entirely dismiss the possibility of him ending up as their eventual choice. And so because of how much influence Klutch has wielded in getting their clients onto the Lakers in the past — like during the 2019-20 season, when six of the 15 players on the eventual champs were repped by the agency — their lack of an official relationship with Jackson is notable as we weigh what might happen with his candidacy moving forward.