The Indiana Pacers have hired former NBA player agent Happy Walters as a consultant, a league source told IndyStar. The news was first reported by NBA reporter Marc Stein.
Walters, a Fort Wayne native, has not only been an NBA agent – he negotiated nine-figure contracts for Dwight Howard (118 million), Amar’e Stoudemire ($ 107 million) and Jimmy Butler (102 million) during his career – but has had a prominent role in music, TV and movies.
His given name is David and he was the inspiration for the name of the character in the Adam Sandler film “Happy Gilmore.” Sandler was Walters’ best man at his first marriage, according to his IMBD page.
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Walters most recently represented the Celtics ‘Marcus Smart, former Fort Wayne-Purdue player John Konchar, and previously represented the Pacers’ Monta Ellis, according to HoopsHype.com as the founder and CEO of Catalyst Sports & Media. He was previously the founder, president and CEO of Relativity Sports.
Walters signed Konchar after Walters’ parents alerted the agent to him. Walters’ father, Robert, has lived in Fort Wayne for 50 years, attended Michigan and Harvard Law and returned to Fort Wayne, where he is an attorney. Walters’ mother, Irene, is the former head of Marketing and Communications at Purdue-Fort Wayne. The couple has been season ticket holders for basketball for 15 years.
“In the past they’ve told me about players they think are NBA players and usually they’re not correct, but in this case they mentioned him a couple years ago to me and I followed him a little bit,” Walters told IndyStar in 2019. “I think he can really play. He’s super tough, he’s a lot of things well and the NBA has become a position-less league where those type of players flourish. You don’t have to be 7 feet, you don ‘t have to be a super, super fast point guard – he does a lot of things that work today. “
Walters was at the center of a lawsuit filed by Nerlens Noel against Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, alleging he lost $ 58 million in salary from 2017-20. As part of the lawsuit, according to SNY’s Ian Begley, Walters provided a letter that claimed Noel had a four-year, $ 70-million deal from Dallas in 2017 but Paul sabotaged it and got Noel to leave Walters’ agency, ultimately signing for just 4.1 million.
Walters has produced more than 20 films and television shows, including “We’re the Millers” and “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”, and also had great success with movie soundtracks. Walters also created a successful independent record label, which he sold to Sony Music in 2003.
Contact IndyStar Deputy Sports Editor Nat Newell at (317) 444-6182 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: NatJNewell.