Monday, October 1, 2007
Dan In Real Life
So training camp is about to start, and the Cavaliers still haven't re-upped two of their best rotation players, Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Varejao. The Pavlovic situation is ridiculous; after giving Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall solid money, and Larry Freaking Hughes a max-dollar deal, they don't want to pay decent money for a 24-year old athletic slasher who plays extremely good defense and shoots 40% from 3-point range. Pay him now, Danny.
The Varejao situation is a good deal more complicated; Varejao is a great defender and rebounder, runs the pick-and-roll effectively with LeBron, finds himself on the floor in crunch-time, and should absolutely be starting over Drew Gooden. However, his agent, Dan Fegan, is complicating matters by saying that he should be getting $10 million a year, using his restricted status to essentially play "chicken" with the Cavalier brass. (Some good reactions to the situation can be found at my site, MVN, by my colleagues Amar and James-James' column even features yelling in capital letters. I suggest reading it in a Stephen A. Smith voice.)
Fegan's had himself a big summer-he's Yi Jianlian's agent as well, and as we all know, Yi's holdout was bitter indeed, and nearly caused an international incident. We of the G-State faithful fondly remember Fegan as the guy who orchestrated Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, and Jason Richardson's ridiculous contracts, and made Gilbert Arenas leave town by preying on his insecurity and making him believe that the Warriors had disrespected him by drafting him in the second round and by allowing Earl Boykins to take minutes from him in the best year of Boykins' career, leading him to sign with the Wizards instead of staying with the Warriors an extra year to get a Bird-rules contract. (Wondering why Yi to the Warriors never ended up materializing? There's as good a reason as any-can't imagine the Warriors brass is anxious to deal with Fegan again, ever.)
Here's Dan Fegan's full current client list:
Shandon Anderson (worthless)
Ruben Patterson (shuffled from the Bucks to the Clippers this off-season)
Austin Croshere (playing out the string with the Warriors)
Erick Dampier (An overpaid albatross for Dallas)
Howard Eisley (worthless)
Reggie Evans (just traded)
Dermarr Johnson (worthless)
Shawn Marion (Demanding a trade with a max-dollar deal, and seems to feel overlooked and under-appreciated just like Gilbert did in Golden State-hmm.)
Troy Murphy (traded in a salary dump)
Eduardo Najera (Making 5 millon dollars to do nothing for the Nuggets)
Nene (Making 10 mill a year over the next 5 years for the Nuggets)
Jason Richardson (Traded in a salary dump)
Ricky Sanchez (I don't even know who that is)
Anderson Varejao (See above)
Earl Watson (Making $18 millon over the next 3 years to ride the bench for the Sonics)
Jason Terry (Subject of trade rumors due to his salary)
Stephen Jackson (Traded in a crazy dump)
Yi Jianlian (Almost caused World War 3)
Here's the thing: With the possible exception of Jason Terry, not one team has signed a long-term deal with a Ferry client and ended up happy about it when the deal was up. Not one. I'm uncomfortable giving Dan Fegan strategy advice for the simple reason that he's a lot smarter than I am; in a world where most of the literati went to college for a little and spent most of their time there playing basketball, Fegan is a graduate of Yale Law. I'm a pre-law freshman. He's using strategies that I've never even heard of. That being said, I will say this; You can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin him once. (Do they teach Rounders quotes at Yale Law? I think not.) With Dampier, Dunleavy, Murphy, and Nene, Fegan has skinned the sheep; team's aren't going to give 8 figures to his clients out of sheer respect for their potential anymore. For all Anderson's talent and accomplishments, he hasn't proven himself a $10 million player yet, and the Cavs aren't going to be fooled by Fegan's game.
Of course, all this thinking about the Fegan effect got me to thinking about what it would be like if Dan Fegan was my agent, not just for my writing (I'd probably be demanding $50,000 a year from MVN, approximately $50,000 more than what I'm making independently), but for my everyday life. Without further ado:
(I walk into my college interview with Fegan.)
Admissions lady: Hi, John.
Fegan: Look, my client would be a great fit for your school. He's got a 3.6 GPA and sky-high board scores. You should accept him immediately.
Admissions lady: His numbers are certainly solid, but they're not overwhelming; I'm not sure I can guarantee an admission right now, because we have a lot of applicants with similar, if not better, numbers.
Fegan: Look, Jeaneanne.
Admissions Lady: My name's not...
Fegan: Jeaneanne, we both know there's a lot more to a student than his GPA, essay, extra-curriculars, and looks.
Me: My looks?
Fegan: Those SAT scores show unbelievable potential, and you don't want that potential going anywhere else. Also, John brings great intangibles to the table; he's going to do the little things at your college you won't find anywhere else. They might not show up on the stat sheet, but where else will you find a guy with the kind of hustle to make up to 15 calls on a Friday night to find a party? Also, these advanced numbers show a 5:1 ratio of politely helping drunk girls get home to accidentally hooking up with them. He really likes Kanye West. He's had limited opportunities, but he's come through when he's gotten them. These numbers project to big things for your university in the future.
Admissions lady: What the hell are you talking about?
Fegan: Additionally, the admissions of my previous clients with numbers like these show that John's clearly earned admission into this university. (Hands her list.)
Admissions lady: Didn't the last client of yours we let in post a .3 GPA and stab a guy?
Fegan: That was the past. The past has no relevance here.
Admissions lady: But you just said...
Fegan: The deal is on the table. Take it or leave it.
Admissions lady: Fine. You're in.
Fegan: Good. Now that we've established that he's got a non-transferable spot here, we demand a full scholarship.
Admissions lady: What? No way.
Fegan: Give us the scholarship, or we walk. John's perfectly willing to go to junior college for a year if we can't get a deal done.
Me: I am?
Admissions lady: We'll think about it.
(Three months later, talking with Fegan.)
Me: Hey, I ended up getting the scholarship, but I ended up missing the first three weeks of school because of my holdout, and I got stuck in the dorm they usually reserve for students categorized as "unstable." Also, I think they put pictures of me up in the faculty lounge, and my professors keep putting my papers in the shredder.
Fegan: Fitting in and thriving where you are is okay, but what's really important is that we got more money. Because I get 3% of that money.
(Four Months Later, eating lunch.)
Fegan: Hello, John.
Me: How did you know I'd be eating lunch here?
Fegan: I went to Yale Law.
Fegan: How is everything going with you?
Me: Pretty well. I've started to turn it around in class, and I'm actually seeing a really nice girl who I like a lot.
Fegan: That's what I wanted to talk to you about.
Me: You want to talk to me about my girlfriend?
Fegan: Yes, I believe she's undervaluing you. It looks here like you're calling her three times for every time she's calling you. Additionally, you've ended up paying for 90% of all dinners and knick-knacks, and she made you stop smoking, all for a woefully low sexual output.
Me: How long have you been following me for?
Fegan: Additionally, it looks like she's been canceling dinners with you to go to study sessions recently.
Me: She has mid-terms coming up.
Fegan: So now you're behind mid-terms in the rotation? Jesus. John, I'm going to be straight with you, because I'm your friend and have a 3% share in your happiness. You need to opt-out of this relationship. You could do fantastically on the open market. Now, I can't tell you who from, but there is interest in you, and I have several available women who would be ready to be completely obsessed with you.
Me: You mean the one with the hair?
Fegan: John, you've been a second banana for too long. Would you rather be a contributor to a good relationship or be the star of a disastrous one? Trust me on this one.
(Some time later. I'm at a party.)
Fegan: Johnny boy!
Me: How did you get in here?
Fegan: I got the guy at the door a guaranteed contract with the Bobcats.
Me: What do you want?
Fegan: I'm here as your agent. I saw you've been calling a girl for the last couple of weeks, and decided I'd help you in your negotiations so that I can get my 3%.
John: What does that even mean?
Fegan: Come over here, miss.
Girl: Hi. Who are you?
Fegan: I'm about to be 3% of your boyfriend. These negotiations between you and my client have dragged on for far too long. It's time we worked something out.
Girl: Well, John's a nice guy. I'd go to dinner with you tomorrow night.
Fegan: I'm sorry, but that's a low-ball offer. Looking at past dating histories of my clients, the value of a 5-8 vaguely semetic writer with blue eyes has been clearly established as a 3-month binding sexual contract. Those are the terms of the deal; if you don't like it, there are other interested parties.
Me: Dan, there aren't really a lot of...
Girl: I'm not really sure I'm willing to commit to that right now. I'd make out with you tonight, but...
Me: Jesus Christ Dan, take the deal!
Fegan: Sorry, but the terms of the deal are non-negotiable. If you don't like it, John is perfectly willing to date men for the semester.
Me: Dan, this bluffing thing has gone way too far!
Girl: Sorry, I can't do it. Never talk to me again.
Me: What the hell, Dan!
Fegan: Well, you can't win em' all. I'd stay and chat, but I don't care about you. There's a party at the rainbow house in an hour. (Walks over to Joe McKnight.)
Fegan: Joe! Dan Fegan. You're a great player. What are you doing at the bottom of the depth chart? I can tell you right now, there are schools who would be interested in your talents.