Why McLemore chose Blackstock as agent
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK – On the eve of the NBA draft, former Kansas star Ben McLemore said one of the best pieces of advice he’s been given is to keep his circle of family, friends and advisors small.
That led him to sign with newly certified agent Rodney Blackstock for representation after earlier working with Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Rival Sports Group.
“I was with Rivals and I just fell like Rodney has been the best person for me throughout this process, helping me get through everything,” McLemore said Wednesday. “From the beginning, everything has been good. He’s a great person, and he’s helped me through all of this so that’s why I chose that he should be a part of my circle.”
Blackstock declined comment when approached by USA TODAY Sports.
Darius Cobb, McLemore’s former AAU coach told USA TODAY Sports in May that Blackstock paid him and McLemore’s cousin thousands of dollars in cash and gifts intended to steer McLemore toward certain agents and financial advisors. Blackstock’s name also appeared on McLemore’s guest pass list for three Kansas home games last season, and McLemore has spoken publicly about the bond and relationship the two have (while denying any knowledge of the payments).
It is against NCAA rules for a player, the player’s relatives or friends to accept impermissible benefits, meaning Kansas and the NCAA will look into this relationship to see if the Jayhawks might be forced to vacate games in which McLemore appeared.
McLemore declined to discuss whether he had talked to anyone at Kansas and the NCAA about the matter.
“I just left that as it is,” he said. “Rodney is now my agent, so I’m leaving it at that. I’m just going to keep moving forward … and getting ready for my future.”
McLemore said he’s “definitely” still in contact with the Kansas coaching staff, and that he expects Kansas coach Bill Self to sit at his table at the draft, along with Blackstock, McLemore’s mother, sister and younger brother.
Nicole Auerbach, a national college basketball reporter for USA TODAY Sports, is on Twitter @NicoleAuerbach.
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