When we are thinking about the NBA players, we immediately see the man on the stage driving, shooting, guarding and talking to the media.
The point is that a NBA player is more than that: they are a company, a brand, and all that needs to be carried on.
Basic elements of a player
There are people that are around a player, that starts from business people, family, friends and agent.
The influence and the amount of people around a player can be very different, and basically depends on the maturity of the player.
There is a wide list of NBA players that ended bankrupted by the amount of money spent on their entourages.
And there is too a big list of players surrounded by a positive close environment that build a group of professionals around them to enable to progress through their professional career, explode their brand (in case the player likes that direction), and take care that the player can focus on the game (travelling, training and playing).
The agent and the agency
Agents and agencies are not part of the entourage of a player, but they play an important role on the player. There are different types of agencies and agents, and their style are differential too.
As in any aspect of life, there are some agents that are very aggressive representing their customers, and there are others that just focus on the representation of the player.
Relevant players have a contract with a sneakers brand, this contract can have a secondary role but for top players this is significant. The example everybody reminds is Lebron James: he has a lifetime contract with Nike over 500m$, he has won a championship with Heat, Cavs and Lakers, but he always was with Nike.
The emergent brands that try to get a piece of the market make bets about the players, and companies as Under Armour have tried to get a piece of that big cake.
Some players, specially the ones without family, require to have some people that ensure they have the fridge full of food when they are home, clothes clean and basic stuff like that. The live of a NBA player is a very dedicated job, and there is no always space for some things.
The definition of entourage is basically people around the player just for fun or with some assignment.
The main problems come when family or friends are assigned to important duties as agent, marketing or investment. The players have always the doubt if they can trust a person outside of their entourage, and they all know other players that were scammed by a “professional” and they decide that is better to have a trusted person with an eye on that.
Saying all this, every player is different, every player’s environment is different too.