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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Sports Agents Fight Over NBA Turf

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CN) - Pro basketball sports agents have taken a multimillion-dollar fight to Westchester County Court. Assist Sports claims that its former executive employee Dale Foster "did poorly in his first two years of employment at Assist," because "he was recruiting prospects for himself, not Assist."

Assist Sports asked the court to enjoin Johnny Shawn Dale Foster, Bachelor & Associates and Ingrid Bachelor from using Assist Sports' confidential information for their own gain.

Foster was Assist Sports' director of scouting and client relations from October 2007 until Aug. 21, 2010. He signed a noncompete and confidentiality agreement as part of his employment, the complaint states.

"Foster did poorly in his first two years of employment at Assist," according to the complaint. "He signed almost no new clients. ... One reason for Foster's lackluster performance can be found in Foster's recent admission that, by the summer of 2009, he was recruiting prospects for himself, not Assist."

Assist Sports claims that Foster used a company-issued phone and car while he recruited for himself and "he bragged that Assist will have no recourse regarding these prospects, because there would be 'no trace' of them in Assist."

It claims Foster and his co-defendants conspired to steal Andray Blatche, of the NBA's Washington Wizards, from Assist Sports using Assist Sports' own information. "This contract alone would be worth over $1,000,000 in agent fees to Assist," according to the complaint.

"The collusion and coordination of Foster, Bachelor and Associates is shown by phone records from the summer of 2010, which reflect dozens of calls, often one after another, between Foster and Bachelor, Blatche's mother, and Blatche himself, often closely correlated with the timing of messages that Foster or Bachelor sent to Assist, demanding more money for Foster," the complaint states.

After Foster resigned, Blatche terminated his agent's agreement with Assist Sports effective Sept. 23, 2010, Assist Sports says. On Sept. 24, Blatche signed a $30 million contract extension with the Wizards.

"Blatche claimed in the media that he negotiated this contract extension himself," the complaint states. "That could only be true if Blatche walked into the Wizards' office the morning of September 24th with a clean sheet of paper, and in a few hours negotiated an agreement that did not in any way use the work and effort that [Assist Sports founder Eric] Fleisher had invested in a three month long negotiation process."

Assist Sports claims Foster stole several other clients and tried to steal others. It seeks preservation of evidence, and an injunction in aid of arbitration. It is represented by Andrew Hayes of Manhattan.

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