In a recent appearance on the Gil’s Arena podcast, Rich Paul, CEO of Klutch Sports and LeBron James’ agent and close friend, shed light on the significant influence of “market buster” players in the NBA.
Paul emphasized that while many talented prospects aspire to join big markets, certain exceptional players can transcend the location of their team.
He cited the example of Stephen Curry, suggesting that even if Curry had been drafted by a smaller market team like the Timberwolves, his game-changing style would still have left an indelible mark on the league.
“Some people are market busters,” Paul said. “Very few though. I think you could have put Steph [Curry], if Steph goes to Minnesota maybe they don’t win depending on [what players they have], obviously Golden State has had, but his impact on the game, how he plays the game, kids thinking they can walk outside and go into a gym and throw the ball 40 feet you Steph Curry. We cannot deny that.”
Paul also reserved a special mention for James. According to Paul, LeBron transformed Cleveland into what he dubbed “Midwest Hollywood.” During his time with the Cavaliers, the city became a basketball destination for celebrities and high-profile figures.
“LeBron was able to be a market buster in Cleveland,” Pau said. “He turned Cleveland to Midwest Hollywood. Everyone fro Warren Buffett to Jay-Z, to Lil Wayne – everybody came to games in Cleveland not waiting on against New York or L.A. They cam to Cleveland. There’s few guys like that.”