NBA rookie Zion Williamson trial faces setback in court case

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While the 2019-2020 NBA season remains suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, litigation involving NBA players continues. This is the case with New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, a budding superstar and candidate for the 2019-2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The 19-year-old has the particularity of being both a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit and a defendant in a state lawsuit. The two cases involve the same adversary: ​​former marketing representative for Williamson, Prime Sports Marketing president Gina Ford.

As explained below, Williamson suffered procedural setback in his litigation in several courts on Wednesday. This is a situation which could make him more inclined to offer favorable settlement terms to Ford.

The Williamson-Ford litigation centers on a fundamental issue: the legality of the dismissal of Williamson Ford as his representative in the approval negotiations.

While still a freshman at Duke University on April 20, 2019, Williamson signed a five-year contract for Prime Sports (Ford) to serve as a marketing representative. To be clear, the contract did not make Ford – who negotiated contracts for Usain Bolt and Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Durant – his agent to sign with an NBA team. It concerned endorsements and related opportunities. For about five weeks thereafter, Ford negotiated on behalf of Williamson with companies such as Puma, Activision Publishing, EA Sports, Burger King, Mercedes Benz, T-Mobile and Biosteel. Towards the end of May, Williamson severed ties with Ford and retained CAA to represent him for both employment and endorsement contracts.



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