King: Agents Leak False Info To Generate Buzz, Create Leverage

False reports are not unique to the Steelers or Bills – or the NFL

Taz and the Moose
March 08, 2019 - 9:22 am

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The Pittsburgh Steelers had reportedly reached a deal to trade Antonio Brown to the Buffalo Bills, but that report, as it turns out, was false.

How do general mangers – in any sport – handle false reports like that?

“Generally it’s not the teams that put it out there; usually it’s the agents because they’re trying to generate the story, put leverage (on teams) . . . so maybe a team that’s been hesitant to offer something offers a little more,” former NBA general manager Billy King said on Taz & The Moose. “That, to me, was always the problem that I had – when stories keep generating that you know aren’t true and you’ve got to come out and deny them. But that’s the age we live in now. It’s instantaneous news. You want it on Twitter. You want it right away.

“The best thing from a GM standpoint is not to get so caught up (in) it,” King continued, “and at times, I did. Try to just focus on what you’re doing and do the best job you can. One key thing: You’ve always got to make sure your owner is abreast of what is actually going on because they’re getting that news instantaneously and if you’re not keeping them in the loop, then they’re going to be a little frustrated.”

The Lakers, of course, tried to acquire Anthony Davis before the trade deadline, but some of their offers were leaked in the media, which caused unrest in the locker room. Davis remains in New Orleans, while the Lakers have more questions than answers going forward.

“As great as LeBron is, he is an aging superstar,” King said. “(Free agents have to realize), ‘Okay, if I go there, are we going to be better than Denver? Are we going to be better than Golden State?’ There’s some teams in the West that are up-and-coming young teams, so how long are you going to be great there?”

King also shared his thoughts on Zion Williamson and the NBA Draft. King believes the 18-year-old phenom will be successful at the next level.

“The game has changed,” he said. “It’s much more wide open. With his ability to handle the basketball and his athletic ability, how smooth he is, I see him fitting in. Everybody says he doesn’t shoot the three great, but I think that will come. I say put him at the 4 and let him play and he’ll create unbelievable mismatches for people. If he goes to a coach that’s very creative and not very traditional, I think he’ll be fine. If this had been 20 years ago when Larry Johnson came out, I would be concerned because it was a more traditional league. Now it’s more just wide open basketball.”