Updated: Jul 21, 2022
Plaintiff Continuum Capital filed a lawsuit against NBA agent Charles Briscoe on Wednesday in the Superior Court in Delaware. Continuum alleges breach of contract and fraudulent inducement. The plaintiff, a Bahamian company, demands a jury trial and requests no less than $2 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages and costs.
This lawsuit arises out of the formation of Icon Legacy Group. Icon was formed in March 2021 by Continuum (the majority owner) and Briscoe (the minority owner), and was intended to be a sports agency focused primarily on serving athletes playing within the NBA. According to the complaint, at that time, Briscoe represented to Continuum that he was Dwight Howard’s agent and that he was finalizing a new contract for Howard that would generate fees to fund the new business, Icon. Continuum claims that, based on said representation by Briscoe, it gained confidence to invest significant capital into Icon.
Specifically, based on Briscoe’s representations and his promise to contribute his existing business, Continuum says that it agreed to invest up to $1.4 million in Icon to enable Briscoe to grow and develop the business. In connection with Continuum’s investment, Briscoe entered into an employment agreement with Icon in April 2021, pursuant to which he agreed to serve as Icon’s CEO and “lead and develop all revenue generation of Icon.”
Continuum claims that even after Icon was formed and funded, Briscoe continued to make misrepresentations that business was thriving. Briscoe allegedly told the plaintiff that (1) Icon had signed Chris Duarte, at that time a recent graduate of Oregon University who was likely to be a first-round pick in the NBA draft; (2) Dwight Howard signed a shoe deal that would net Icon $1 million; (3) Duarte later signed a contract with the Indiana Pacers that Icon would receive a significant fee from; and (4) Duarte signed a shoe deal with Nike that would pay Icon 20% of the contract’s value ($200,000 per year plus certain performance bonuses).
Due to Briscoe’s representations, Continuum says it ultimately poured $900,000 of funding into Icon. However, plaintiff claims that it discovered in August 2021 that Briscoe lost Howard as a client and that Icon never received any of the proceeds that Briscoe claimed were forthcoming from the Howard and Duarte contracts.
On Duarte, Continuum claims that it had good reason to believe that the former Oregon guard signed as an Icon client. On April 12, 2021, Chris Haynes, a Yahoo Sports reporter covering the NBA, announced on his Twitter account that Duarte had signed with Icon. Additionally, on that same day, Briscoe posted on Icon’s Instagram page (@icon_legacy_group) that Icon had signed Duarte (as of the filing of the Complaint, the post is still active).
On Howard, Continuum claims that it also had good reason to believe that the center was an Icon client. Consistent with Briscoe's representations asserting such to be true, three posts were put up on the Icon Instagram page that related to Howard (which further supported Briscoe’s claim that Icon was representing him).
However, in August of 2021, Continuum says it learned through the media that Howard had signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers with another agent. This announcement, released by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on August 2, 2021, stated that Howard’s agent was Qais Haider, not Icon (as Briscoe had represented both personally and via the Icon Instagram page). Icon never received payment for the Howard or Duarte shoe deals, nor any contract in connection with either player.
Upon said discoveries, Continuum demanded that Briscoe buy the company out of Icon. According to the complaint, Briscoe did agree to do so and the parties entered into a Membership Interest Purchase Agreement on September 29, 2021, to memorialize the terms of the buy-out. Pursuant to the agreement, Continuum says Briscoe agreed to make three scheduled payments to Continuum by November 29, 2021, for a total amount of $900,100 in exchange for all of Continuum’s interest in Icon. Despite multiple demands, Continuum claims it has yet to receive a single payment from Briscoe under the agreement, and thus filed this lawsuit.
Accordingly, per the complaint, "Continuum seeks a judgment awarding it (1) compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but in no event less than $1,000,000 resulting from Briscoe’s breach of the Agreement by failing to make the required payments thereunder; (2) compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but in no event less than $1,000,000 resulting from Briscoe’s fraudulent misrepresentations inducing Continuum to enter into the Term Sheet and fund Icon; (3) punitive damages; (4) Continuum’s costs in bringing this action; and (5) such further relief that the Court deems just and proper."
Jason Morrin is a third-year law student at Hofstra Law School in New York. He is the President of Hofstra’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Additionally, he is a Law Clerk at Geragos & Geragos. He can be found on Twitter @Jason_Morrin.