Paul and Adele were spotted courtside at an NBA Finals game Saturday
LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul and singer Adele are a couple, reports ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Windhorst made the claim on a late-night podcast hosted by ESPN’s Zach Lowe, after the “Hello” singer was spotted sitting courtside next to the NBA agent during Saturday night’s NBA Finals Game 5. The game was reportedly their first public outing as a couple.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 17: Singer Adele attends game five of the NBA Finals at Footprint Center on July 17, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Bucks defeated the Suns 123-119. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
“Rich Paul, his agent, brings his girlfriend to the game sitting next to LeBron. His girlfriend is Adele,” Windhorst said on The Lowe Post podcast. “Rich Paul is at the game with Adele. LeBron is watching the game with Adele. This is the first time they’ve come out in public together, so this will be all over the tabloids, especially in England tomorrow.”
Adele, a 15-time Grammy winner, officially divorced charity CEO Simon Konecki in March after the couple separated in 2019.
Paul, the founder of the agency Klutch Sports Group, was reportedly dating jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer in 2019.
James, who was also in attendance at Phoenix’s Footprint Center Saturday night, stars in the new movie Space Jam 2: A New Legacy available now in theaters and on HBO Max. The four-time NBA champion is a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and has been represented by Paul for nine years.
CHARLOTTE, NC – FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Rich Paul, Ben Simmons and Miles Bridges attend the Klutch 2019 All Star Weekend Dinner Presented by Remy Martin and hosted by Klutch Sports Group at 5Church on February 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Dominique Oliveto/Getty Images for Klutch Sports Group 2019 All Star Weekend) (Photo by Dominique Oliveto/Getty Images for Klutch Sports Group 2019 All Star Weekend)
Paul founded Klutch Sports Group in 2012 according to The New Yorker, ten years after meeting James in 2002 at an airport. Over 45 athletes including James are represented by Klutch Sports Group according to Forbes, including other household names such as Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green, Lonzo Ball, John Wall, and others.
James and Paul stayed in touch from the day they met in 2002, and James even began paying Paul a $48,000 salary after getting drafted in 2003. Paul later joined the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to work under James’ then-agent Leon Rose, and eventually left to found his own agency, taking James with him.
Backed by its roster of star athlete clientele, the agency has steadily grown in popularity over the years and earned the number 13 spot on Forbes’ global list of top sports agencies in 2020.
Paul told The New Yorker that his main goal is promoting athlete empowerment and education, which he said is especially relevant for Black athletes.
“What I always focused on was how to educate the athlete. It’s one thing to be a Black man in America, right? It’s a totally different thing to be a Black athlete,” Paul said.
He continued to speak about his experience as a Black sports agent, a historically underrepresented group in the profession.
“If you go back in the history of representation, again, there were very few Black agents,” Paul said.
“We’re going from us feeling like, when you come in a room, if you see more Black people in the room, you’re in the wrong room. No, you’re in the right room. That mentality years ago, we have to change that,” Paul added.
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