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Falk denies rumor of plans to run Wizards

On his column on Bulls.com, longtime NBA writer Sam Smith floated the rumor that agent David Falk would take a prominent role within the Washington Wizards organization once the Pollin family sells the team. Smith writes:

Falk, who represented Michael Jordan and once was the game's preeminent agent, has been looking for a way to increase his role in the NBA and long has talked about running a team. The joke long around the NBA was that Falk always believed he was running teams because he'd always propose trades to reshape teams with his players. It's the natural extension he's long been seeking, and he is a Washington fixture with his business there.

On Tuesday, Falk denied that he has any interest in working in the front office of any NBA team, calling the article "absolutely baseless."

"I've had many opportunities in my career to run teams when I was much younger. The idea of running a team at this age has zero interest to me," Falk said in a telephone interview. "It's just something that never really caught my fancy. I've given some thought to owning a team at some point, but I really don't have any interest to work for anybody. I've done that. The idea of being the president of a team, I wouldn't look at that as a promotion from what I'm doing now. I'm in control of my own time and destiny. It's just something that doesn't interest me.

"I'm a player guy. That's where my heart is," he said. "Signing these young guys like Jeff Green and Roy [Hibbert] and Toney Douglas has energized me. When you have really good guys and you don't have knuckleheads, it can be a fun business. The rumors of my death are premature."

Falk, 59, had a lengthy feud with late owner Abe Pollin, which began with his attempts to negotiate a contract extension in the 1990s for Juwan Howard and exploded in 2003, when Michael Jordan was not allowed to return to his job as general manager after his playing career ended.

After Jordan left Washington, Falk swore that he would never set foot in Verizon Center for as long as Pollin owned the team. A few weeks after Pollin's death, Falk finally ended his boycott when he went to watch Hibbert play for the Indiana Pacers. He has attended several games since. While Falk said he has no interest in working for the Wizards, he sounded optimistic about Ted Leonsis eventually taking over the franchise.

"When Ted takes over the team, it will be like turning on a light in a dark room," he said.

By Michael Lee  |  February 2, 2010; 1:08 PM ET
 
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Comments

Like 'turning on a light in a dark room'. What does that mean ...

Posted by: SkinzFanzz | February 2, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"When Ted takes over the team, it will be like turning on a light in a dark room," he said.


David,

I've been trying to tell the people on here the same thing for years...Abe has brain washed the fans and they just can't grasp that reality.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I wish he wasn't denying it and I wish it were more than a rumor.

Posted by: millineumman | February 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I wish he wasn't denying it and I wish it were more than a rumor.

Posted by: millineumman | February 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Huh????? Why????

Posted by: IrenePollin | February 2, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I've been thinking for some time now that the best thing for Gil to do is hire Falk as his agent and force a trade to the Bobcats. You know Falk and MJ still want some payback and they both know Gil would be motivated to drop 40 every time he came to DC to play.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | February 2, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Also, Sam Smith is never right and after listening to him on TK's show for 10 years I can say for certain that he's just writing for a paycheck. His words and tone tell he doesn't have much respect for NBA players.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | February 2, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I wish he wasn't denying it and I wish it were more than a rumor.

Posted by: millineumman | February 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Huh????? Why????

Posted by: IrenePollin |

I wish he wasn't denying it and I wish it were more than a rumor.

Posted by: millineumman | February 2, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

His words and tone tell he doesn't have much respect for NBA players.

Posted by: 33dgriffin

Many of the writers who cover nba border on openly jealous of the lifestyle players get to lead.

Posted by: divi3 | February 2, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"When Ted takes over the team, it will be like turning on a light in a dark room," he said."

Great comment and I 100% agree.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 2, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

because he probably has great knowledge of the salaries and player value and relationships with some of the better players and team execs over the years.

Posted by: millineumman | February 2, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

His words and tone tell he doesn't have much respect for NBA players.

Posted by: 33dgriffin

Couldn't agree more.

Posted by: millineumman | February 2, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't care who does what or with who! I want to see the team become a playoff contender with a legit shot at winning an NBA Title, not happy to sneak in as the 7th or 8th seed in the East!

Posted by: BeltwayBoy | February 2, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I wish he wasn't denying it and I wish it were more than a rumor.

Posted by: millineumman | February 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Huh????? Why????

Posted by: IrenePollin | February 2, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Irene,

Why?

Because some fans are tried of seeing the team they have supported (by buying tickets) ran like it was still 1978!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Just what this team needs, a straight shooter. Hope he reconsiders.

Posted by: kahlua87 | February 2, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Boy does Falk come off as a schmuck.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 2, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Falk's pissed because Abe outmanuevered him with the whole MJ thing.

It was stupid for MJ to give up his ownership stake. Falk was MJ's advisor and it all backfired.

Posted by: p1funk | February 2, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Falk's pissed because Abe outmanuevered him with the whole MJ thing.

It was stupid for MJ to give up his ownership stake. Falk was MJ's advisor and it all backfired.

Posted by: p1funk | February 2, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Some of us in the world still believe a man's word and a hand shake is good enough.

The Wizard fans found out who the real Abe was the day he sent MJ to the curb.

Actions speak louder than words!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Falk was definitely at the Blazers game on MLK day, too. Saw him there and thought it was weird. I didn't know the story about Hibbert and the Pacers at the time.

Posted by: bryc3 | February 2, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

This just in to our newsroom. Rod Strickland was plucked from the Kentucky bench sitting next to John Calipari and offered the job as coach in waiting for the Wizards after Flip Saunders flipped his wig when Jamison went 2 for 17 in the defeat against the Celtics. More wig flipping by Flip will result in Rod Strickland becoming the next head coach after no more that 2 more 2 for 17s by Jamison.

Posted by: getitritegov | February 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Some of us in the world still believe a man's word and a hand shake is good enough.

The Wizard fans found out who the real Abe was the day he sent MJ to the curb.

Actions speak louder than words!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse


I'm not defending Abe or sticking up for him here. But the bottom line was that it was a stupid stupid business decision for MJ to give up his ownership stake if the possibility existed that Abe could exercise a right to send him packing.

Anyways, I don't feel bad for Falk. The dude is a pro sports agent, not a priest. I can only imagine how many "handshakes" he's made only to stick a knife in someone's back the moment they turn around.

Posted by: p1funk | February 2, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The NBA is on the way down... Its not just the Wizards. The players think of themselves more as gangstas then gentlemen.

Its full of prima donnas that think they are something special.

Half the time, they aren't trying.

Not to mention the crooked refs...

The NBA needs to be fixed, not just the Wizards. They can start by returning to what got them their success.

All of this so called "entertainment" is ruining a good game. Call traveling once in a while for starters. Call a technical on some of the mouthy players. Bring back some class and sportsmanship.

Otherwise, you can have it... I haven't been to a Wizards game in years. I wouldn't go now if you sent me in a limo and bought me courtside tickets.

Not interested in watching people who think they are prima donnas.

By the way, I am out of the stock market too... Don't trust the Wall Street gang either.

I have had it with clowns that are sticking it to the rest of us. Are you listening Dan Snyder?

The only Washington Pro Teams I follow is the Nationals and the Capitals. The rest are a joke. Maybe not the soccer team. Not my thing. There is no loyalty to the fan and their is no loyalty from this fan.

Posted by: muddapucker | February 2, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't Jump!

Posted by: millineumman | February 2, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

MJ had to give up his ownership stake in order to play again. League rule.

As far as Abe not letting MJ back in again, there was a lot that went down back then and Abe sized up the situation that MJ was not tht right fit for his organization. I can't blame him for that.

Posted by: cannontl | February 2, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be great if Rod Strickland coached the Wizards, as long as he would not be responsible for planning the team's pre-game diet.

At least we can assume the assist to turnover ratio would improve.

Posted by: khrabb | February 2, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"The Wizard fans found out who the real Abe was the day he sent MJ to the curb."

Right. The real Abe had b@lls, and didn't want the world's biggest @-hole running his team.

But the real Abe was also way too happy to have incompetents, if not total fools, running his team at all levels. Fools were OK, not @-holes.

So, to me, Abe was only half-wrong. MJ got screwed on his player contract, big-time, but he did nothing while he was here to deserve a front office job. I respect Abe for standing up to him -- I can't think of anyone else who has ever done that.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | February 2, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"As far as Abe not letting MJ back in again, there was a lot that went down back then and Abe sized up the situation that MJ was not tht right fit for his organization. I can't blame him for that."

I agree, but I have always felt that if MJ wanted to play another year Mr.Polin would not have thought twice about that.

MJ was packing the fans in at the time and right up until Rip got hurt they were making a strong playoff push.

That's why I have mixed emotions aboutthat whole thing. I will never forget MJ driving off in the Mecedes and thining to myself,"Oh man, no one is ever going to want to play here again!"

This is why I think it's time to start over this organization from scratch. New owner, new old name.

There's more to dislike with the team name "Wizards" then there is "Bullets." So many more bad things happend here since they have been called "Wizards."

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 2, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Godfather_of_Goals

The real Abe used MJ to help sell tickets.

Abe hired Ernie after MJ and now the Bobcats have a better record than the Wizards?

Gil got caught bringing guns into Abe's house, Karma is great!

The only thing fans will remember about Abe (the owner)was he ran a losing organization.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The only thing fans will remember about Abe (the owner)was he ran a losing organization.


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Not true. I'll remember that he was responsible for bringing the NBA to the DC area by moving the Bullets from B'more. And I'll remember that he built an arena in Chinatown, primarily with his own money, that revitalized that part of town. Since the '70s, the Bullets/Wizards have essentially been the L.A. Clippers East, and the primary responsibility for that did rest with ownership (i.e., Pollin). But that's not the only thing that I, and I'm sure, others will remember about his tenure.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 2, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"I agree, but I have always felt that if MJ wanted to play another year Mr.Polin would not have thought twice about that."

Of course he would have, As a player, Jordan was an asset to the franchise (if only at the box office). As a GM he wasn't, so Pollin let him go. Simple business math.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 2, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Some of us in the world still believe a man's word and a hand shake is good enough.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

most of those people end up broke or at least lose a significant load of cash. That is the last time they believe in a man's word and handshake.

Consider it "lesson learned" from MJ.

Posted by: Blurred | February 2, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Blurred

That's the reason I retired at 42 and never looked back.

It's a shame how lawyers have ruined this country,

This recession is just the beginning of the end of the good old USA as a super power. We are going to end up like Russia and will have to drill for oil in ANWR just to keep from going bankrupt.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Consider it "lesson learned" from MJ.

Posted by: Blurred | February 2, 2010 5:36 PM

With good ol' Abe doing his part to teach 'im and teach 'im good! May he RIP.

Posted by: and_1 | February 2, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

and_1

MJ will go down in history as one of the greatest players of all time and other than some DC residents most of the country couldn't even tell you who Abe Pollin is.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

MJ will go down in history as one of the greatest players of all time and other than some DC residents most of the country couldn't even tell you who Abe Pollin is.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 5:56 PM


Agreed.

After reading "When Nothing Else Matters", a book by Michael Leahy called that gives one perspective on Jordan's tenure with the Wiz, I made and kept a vow not to attend any more Wiz games until AP was no longer the owner. I still followed and loved the team, but refused to put any more money into his pockets.

My two cents.

Posted by: and_1 | February 2, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Correction:

...a book by Michael Leahy that gives...

Posted by: and_1 | February 2, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Is someone arguing that Abe screwing over Jordan was a bad thing?

Posted by: mack1 | February 2, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I just ran this through google translator:
"I wouldn't look at that as a promotion from what I'm doing now. I'm in control of my own time and destiny."
It came back: "Why would I take a million when I make 20-30 mill ( or more?) a year on commission."
The sad truth is that this greedy dofus created a salary structure where the price of a good ticket is beyond the means of a good worker and the "entertainers" behave as greedily idiotic as their
their new masters/agents.

Posted by: plotintelli | February 2, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Many of the writers who cover nba border on openly jealous of the lifestyle players get to lead.

Posted by: divi3

Jealousy? Maybe -- but their words certainly drip with disdain. The Yahoo NBA columnist is a prime example. I've never read a positive article about the NBA from him. It almost seems that he wants nothing more than the NBA to fail.

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | February 2, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's be clear -- Michael Jordon was a terrible GM. Remember Kwame Brown? Trading away Rip Hamilton? So David Falk was absent from Verizon Center -- so what, who cares. The Wizards still stink, but Falk and Jordon are part of their woeful legacy, not a shining light.

Posted by: Anonymoose | February 2, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"After reading "When Nothing Else Matters", a book by Michael Leahy called that gives one perspective on Jordan's tenure with the Wiz, I made and kept a vow not to attend any more Wiz games until AP was no longer the owner. I still followed and loved the team, but refused to put any more money into his pockets."

Interesting book.

Neither Pollin nor Jordan came across well in it, though I thought Pollin was characterized as a hard-nosed businessman, while Jordan was painted as just a real bastard.

Posted by: nmik | February 2, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

The only mistake in the whole Michael Jordan affair was hiring him in the first place. He was running the team as a hobby and was clueless as an executive. Isn't it touching that Falk waited until after Pollin died to return to the Verizon Center? It's a good thing he doesn't hold a grudge, such a heart of gold...

Posted by: randysbailin | February 2, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

if mj really wanted to be part owner and run the team maybe he should have showed up at the office more than once or twice a month. he was a great player (though not so much by the time he played here), but as an exec...no.

i'll remember mr pollin for more than the years of futility. i remember meeting him at a benefit meet'n'greet at the arena for hurricane katrina relief. he could barely move but was so happy to meet and talk with the fans. you could do worse for a team owner: angelos, irsay, short, griffith....

Posted by: rm0659 | February 3, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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