In the last couple weeks basketball agent David "The Riddler" Falk has floated a couple rumors to demonstrate just how dirty the agent business is. He first told CNBC's Darren Rovell that an unnamed agent paid an unnamed college player $500,000. I questioned the whole point of putting unsubstantiated rumors out there. But wait, there's more: Falk's next riddle, as told to Darren Rovell:
“A guy who has been in the sports business for 40 years, and was basically cryogenically frozen, resurfaced last year,” Falk said. “And we both competed for the same player this year. The player eventually went with me, but three days after this player told this agent he selected me, this agent told him, ‘You’ve made a terrible mistake. David is a really bad person. I’m here for you if you change your mind.’"
"The joke is that this was a person I once worked for and later he worked for me," Falk continued. "Then I find out from this player that this agent told him that he did Michael Jordan’s first Nike deal. That’s ridiculous. That’s like Pluto saying he invented the Polio vaccine that everyone knows was invented by Jonas Salk. So I told this player, ‘All you have to do is call Michael and he’ll tell you David did the deal.'"Extra demerits for Falk referring to himself in the first person and also suggesting that Pluto, the already-down-on-its-luck planet, is spreading scurrilous rumors about Jonas Salk.
Whom is David Falk referring to? Most assume Falk is talking about his former partner Donald Dell. So I emailed a sports lawyer friend for confirmation. This person, who worked at ProServ, answers Falk's riddle with a riddle:
"I was there, but this is a question of ego and point of view. Of course, at the time, Donald was trying to promote Falk as the go to guy for [Michael] Jordan and Falk took the reins and ran with them, but Donald handed him the reins. So, who did the deal? You tell me!"And continued:
"Falk HATES Dell which is most unfortunate. Falk acts as if he is immune from criticism. He is so arrogant it is difficult to believe he can recruit anyone. And his hatred of Donald colors his views and his comments."Note to David Falk: If you truly want to improve the sports agent industry, donating $5 million to Syracuse University to found the David B. Falk Center for Sport Management is a good start, but I also suggest you stop planting rumors in the media. If you've got the goods on fellow agents, then go to the proper authorities.