DAVID FALK

Founder and chief executive officer, Falk Associates Management Enterprises

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty

EDUCATION

General Douglas MacArthur High School, Levittown, N.Y., class of 1968

Syracuse University, class of 1972

“I became friends with two of the basketball recruits, Greg Kohls and Paul Piotrowski. I had this naive desire to combine being a lawyer and being in sports.”

George Washington University Law School, class of 1975

WORK EXPERIENCE

1974

Washington, D.C., law firm Dell, Craighill, Fentress & Benton, intern

“People said, ‘You should meet this guy Donald Dell.’ He was almost impossible to reach. I called him 17 times from a pay phone in the George Washington law library until he ran out of excuses.”

1975

Dell, Craighill, associate

“In ’76, the firm signed John Lucas, Wally Walker, and Adrian Dantley. They basically dumped those guys on my lap and said take care of the day-to-day stuff. I loved that.”

1981

Dell, Craighill, junior partner

1983

Dell, Craighill splits; Falk joins ProServ

1984

Michael Jordan signs with ProServ

Negotiates Jordan’s first deal with Nike for $7 million plus stock

“I wanted to get him his own line of shoes and apparel. Nobody had that in basketball at the time. In the middle of a meeting with Nike, I had a brainstorm about what the line should be called and said, ‘What about Air Jordan?’”

“In ’85, I negotiated Patrick Ewing’s deal with the N.Y. Knicks, which was the largest contract in NBA history by 50 percent.”

1992

Founds Falk Associates Management Enterprises (FAME)

Executive produces 1996’s Space Jam, with Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters

“I told Michael, ‘You’re not an actor. If you’re ever going to be in a movie, you have to play the person you can play best.’ He said, ‘Who’s that? James Bond?’ I said, ‘No, Michael Jordan.’”

FAME clients included Ewing, Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, John Stockton, Alonzo Mourning, and Dikembe Mutombo

1998

Sells FAME to SFX Group for $200 million

2000

Clear Channel buys SFX for $4.4 billion

“I went from having 24 employees and 40 clients in 1998 to, by 2000, 900 employees and 1,100 clients. It really frustrated me. I just didn’t enjoy it.”

2001

Resigns from Clear Channel; becomes consultant

2007

Relaunches FAME as an independent agency

Current clients include Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green, Toney Douglas, Evan Turner, Greg Monroe, and Austin Rivers

“From 2007 to today I’ve signed eight young NBA players. And I’m going to sign two more and have my little club of 10 people, and that’s it. I’m trying to do what’s fun for me and to keep it really small and personal.”

LIFE LESSONS

1. A man’s got to know his limitations. 2. From time to time you have to concede points in order to promote goodwill. 3. Blunt is beautiful.

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