NBA player agent Bill Duffy has an array of achievements to dazzle his prospective clients. His five-year-old agency is top five (and growing) among those in NBA sports management. He represented three of this year's top four picks, rewrote second-round salary expectations with center Zeljko Rebraca and maintains unparalleled contacts in Asia and Europe. The former college star can also bust them in a shooting contest. But the most impressive item on Duffy's resume? He's the father of five kids under age 10. "That," the 42-year-old Duffy says, "never fails to blow them away."
To compensate for logging 500,000 miles and 200 travel days a year, Duffy tries to stay close to home. He has adopted a crack-of-dawn schedule so he can take the kids to school and pick them up. He recently handled the entire brood while his wife, Jamese, made a 19-day trip to Europe-a reward for all her days of single-parent duties. His custom-built, 7,000-square-foot home east of Oakland has just about everything: office, game room, fitness center-and six satellite dishes so he can watch games or highlights on the 20 TVs scattered throughout. Catch Duffy at a game and you might find him with any combination of these: Treaven, 9; Geneva, 7; Christian, 4; Ranada, 2.
Jayden, just 7 months old, arrived in the midst of BDA Sports Management's biggest year, when its combined negotiated salaries skyrocketed from $49.6 million to $72.4 million. SFX, the alliance that includes Arn Tellem and David Falk, rules the roost with $291.1 million, but it doesn't have BDA's international connections.
The 6'4'' Duffy played for the U. of Minnesota, where he roomed with Kevin McHale, then transferred to Santa Clara U., where he roomed with Kurt Rambis. Boyhood friend and 49ers legend Ronnie Lott helped him land his first client, Browns receiver Webster Slaughter, in 1985. Since then, Duffy has mined his extensive hoops background. Bay Area native Antonio Davis was BDA's first basketball client. Terrell Brandon, whose mother, Charlotte, was impressed by Duffy's family orientation, came along next. The Santa Clara connection helped him hook up with Steve Nash and 1998 No. 1 pick Michael Olowokandi, who was an incomplete project at Pacific when Duffy saw him play against Nash's Broncos. After coming up empty in the first round of the 2001 draft-when he landed Yugoslavia's Rebraca a three-year, $12 million deal with the Pistons-Duffy vowed to make up for it. The result: Yao Ming, Jay Williams, Drew Gooden, Fred Jones, Kareem Rush and Tayshaun Prince, all 2002 first-rounders, all BDA clients.
While his agency is poised to grow, Duffy swears that his own clan will hold at seven. Says Jamese, "I watched my mom raise five kids, so this is enough. Besides, we already have a basketball team now."