Saturday, August 13, 2022

Lakers’ Russell Westbrook splitting with longtime agent Thad Foucher over ‘irreconcilable differences’

Russell Westbrook is splitting with longtime agent Thad Foucher of Wasserman over what the agent is describing as “irreconcilable differences,” he told Adrian Wojnarowski. While a player and agent separating is nothing new, Foucher released a lengthy statement about his now expired partnership with Westbrook that doesn’t exactly paint the former MVP in the best light. 

“I represented Russell Westbrook for 14 years and am proud of our partnership which included a highly successful 2008 draft, a super-max contract and the only renegotiation-and-extend max contract in history. I also supported Russell throughout his rise into a prominent fashion industry figure and recently orchestrated three successive trades on Russell’s behalf — culminating with the trade to his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.

“Each time, teams gave up valuable players and assets to acquire Russell – and each time, a new organization embraced his arrival. We did it together with grace and class.

“Now, with a possibility of a fourth trade in four years, the marketplace is telling the Lakers they must add additional value with Russell in any trade scenario. And even then, such a trade may require Russell to immediately move on from the new team via buyout.

“My belief is that this type of transaction only serves to diminish Russell’s value and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, embrace the starting role and support that Darvin Ham publicly offered. Russell is a first-ballot Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame player and will prove that again before he is retired.

“Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best pathway forward and we are no longer working together. I wish Russell and his family the very best.”

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If Foucher is ending his relationship with Westbrook because they disagree on how best to move his career forward and he wants the former star point guard to remain with the Lakers, it stands to reason that Westbrook himself would prefer to leave Los Angeles. However, according to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times, Westbrook has never requested a trade.

Agents almost never speak publicly about their relationships with former clients. It’s typically bad business. Why send a message to possible future clients that you’re willing to air their dirty laundry like this? That Foucher did so suggests that his relationship with Westbrook was truly damaged beyond repair, and his future in the NBA still appears uncertain.

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