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Out of Office Podcast: Bill Duffy

Last Updated: April 26, 2023

On this episode of Out of Office, Rich Kleiman talks to Bill Duffy, a former NBA player and one of basketball’s most influential sports agents. His client list boasts Luka Doncic, one of the NBA’s budding superstars, and Steve Nash, the Hall of Fame point guard and recently-named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. In a traiblazing career, Duffy also represented Yao Ming, the top pick in the 2002 NBA draft, a move that help pave the elague’s business expansion into China. 

Episode Highlights:

@ 8:15 – He started his college basketball career at University of Minnesota, teaming up with stars like Kevin McHale, Mychal Thompson, & Tony Dungy.  

@ 15:15 – Duffy grew up in a military family and spent some of his childhood in Asia. Later in southern California, he played on a high school All Star hoops team with Ronnie Lott, later a 49ers Hall of Famer.  They remain close friends and Lott was instrumental in Duffy’s early career.

@ 32:10 – In 1981, Duffy transferred to Santa Clara University and after A short NBA career, became an agent. His college ties came in handy: He signed Santa Clara guard, Steve Nash (class of ’96), a 1st round pick for the Suns. 

@ 34:05 – In 2002, a big gamble paid off. Duffy had spent five years courting a young Chinese star, Yao Ming. Yao was selected as the #1 overall pick in ’02, a signing that helped pave the NBA’s business path in China.

@ 41:30 – With his agency, BDA Sports Management, Duffy still boasts an impressive global client list, highlighted by Luka Doncic, and the Heat’s Goran Dragic, both elite NBA guards from Slovenia.  He also reps Magic’s big man, Nikola Vucevic, from Montenegro.