All-Star Kevin Garnett Shines with the Celtics

By ASM Sports

As head of ASM Sports for the past two decades, Andy Miller negotiated more than $800 million in endorsements and contracts. NBA stars we represent include Sebastian Telfair, Andre Miller, Chauncey Billups, and Antonio McDyess. One of the most recognizable names on our agency roster is Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics. The fifth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, Garnett had the distinction of being the first player in 20 years drafted directly out of high school.

He joined a Minnesota Timberwolves team that had been struggling as a six-year-old expansion team. Before Garnett’s entrance, the team had not won more than 29 games in a single season. Garnett’s rookie year was respectable but did not pull the Timberwolves out of the doldrums. However, from his second season on, Garnett took control of the team, leading the Timberwolves to their first of eight consecutive playoff appearances.

In 2003-2004 Garnett took his team to the Western Conference Finals and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. When the Timberwolves struggled from 2004 to 2007, some blame fell on Garnett’s shoulders, and he was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007. Playing with the Celtics, Kevin Garnett brought his play to a new level, and he was an integral part of the team claiming its 17th NBA championship in 2007-2008. The following season, the Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals before being knocked out by Orlando.

Then after a 2008-2009 season marred by injuries, Garnett helped the underdog Celtics reach the NBA Finals, where they were beaten in the decisive seventh game by the Los Angeles Lakers. The next season was another stellar one for Garnett, with the 14-time All-Star averaging 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, the Celtics were shut down by the explosive Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. One of the highlights of the ASM Sports blog is a series of regularly updated entries penned by Kevin Garnett. In the blog, Garnett recounts both the high points and the low points of last season, candidly assessing his own performance on the court.

A top-level sports agent for the past two decades, Andy Miller owns ASM Sports, which manages a significant roster of NBA veterans and rising stars.


November 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

2011 ASM Sports Draft Class Highlight: Travis Leslie

A native of Decatur, Georgia, Travis Leslie averaged 21.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game during his senior year of high school. He lead the team to its second Georgia state 4A title in three years and earned recognition as a Class AAAA Player of the Year from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That season, he also became a Slam Dunk champion, highlighting one of his most impressive skills. After high school, Leslie began playing for the Georgia Bulldogs. During his freshman year, he scored 23 points in the second game of the season, sealing his position as one of the team’s integral players.

The team declared Leslie its best rebounding backcourt player and he ended up starting four holiday came. The following year, he improved dramatically from great beginning, becoming a leading scorer and rebounder throughout the season. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) once named him as player of the week. He made 36 dunks his second season with the Bulldogs, a team high. This past season, his junior year, Leslie was a pre-season All-SEC selection made the All-SEC second team. He distinguished himself with six double-doubles, including one in each SEC Tournament game. The ESPN College Gameday show recently named him the best dunker in college basketball.

This past draft season, the Los Angeles Clippers chose Leslie during the second round. A great deal of anxiety surrounded the draft in Los Angeles, as fans feared the loss of their key player, Chris Kaman. Instead, the city welcomed Leslie and another promising young player, Trey Thompkins. The vice president of basketball operations, Neil Olshey, said that the team had singled out both young men as picks for their unique skills that perfectly complement those of existing team members. Olshey looks forward to a rewarding season that will certainly capitalize on the individual abilities of its two new players.

Travis Leslie is represented by Andy Miller, who has served as a professional basketball agent since 1992, representing more than 30 first-round picks in the past 20 years. Some of his most notable clients include Kevin Garnett and Chauncey Billups. Working closely with his clients, Andy Miller helps them understand the workings of the NBA, negotiate ideal contracts, secure endorsements, and find charitable opportunities through which they may give back to their communities.

September 20, 2011 at 3:32 am Leave a comment

Serge Ibaka: The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Rising Star

By ASM Sports

ASM Sports maintains a full roster of NBA stars as clients, including Daniel Gibson, Marreese Speights, Kevin Garnett, and Serge Ibaka. Of all of the rising stars in the NBA, 21-year-old Serge Ibaka’s story is certainly one of the most unique. The third-youngest of 18 siblings, Ibaka was born to prominent basketball-playing parents in the Congolese city of Brazzaville. Growing up without electricity or running water, Ibaka suffered personal turmoil. His father was incarcerated as a political prisoner, and his mother died at an early age. Without even the means for a decent pair of shoes, Ibaka stuck to his passion for basketball, earning himself a chance to play in Europe at age 17. Selected by the Seattle Supersonics in the 2008 draft, Ibaka became an Oklahoma City Thunder player when the team relocated. Coming off the bench last season as a rookie, the 6-foot, 10-inch Ibaka stretched his physical limits with a dizzying array of dunks and blocks that made him an instant crowd-pleaser.

Playing in 73 games, Ibaka achieved 1.3 blocks per game, the highest number among rookies. Playing in the first round of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers, he averaged a very respectable 7.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. A highlight was Ibaka’s Game Two performance, which included 7 blocks. Serge Ibaka took his performance to a higher level in the 2010-2011 season, with an average of 9.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game.

These numbers increased significantly in the postseason, with Ibaka assisting the Thunder past the Grizzlies into the Western Conference Finals. Notably, Ibaka had a stellar first-round postseason game against the Denver Nuggets, scoring 22 points, with 16 boards and 4 blocks. Serge Ibaka’s recent performance, propelling a young team to victory, did not go unnoticed. ESPN analyst Jack Ramsay commented that Ibaka has a rare shot-blocking potential that reminds him of Bill Russell. In particular, Ibaka has the ability to guide blocked balls to teammates rather than swatting them out of bounds. In addition, he is difficult to read, keeping shooters guessing, and they often make the wrong decisions around the hoop when he is defending.

Andy Miller has headed the sports management firm ASM Sports since 1992, negotiating contracts for NBA players and presiding over $500 million in apparel, sneaker, and endorsement contracts.

June 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

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