Some of you may know that I had the privilege of playing college basketball for Gregg Popovich, the current head coach of the San Antonio Spurs and the greatest pro basketball coach of his generation. I played at Pomona College in Southern California and Popovich was the head coach – his first job as a head coach. People often ask me “What was he like?”. Back then, Coach Pop was pretty similar to the guy you see on TV today: tough, smart and fiercely competitive. As players, we all got to know the Popovich family, including his wife Erin. I remember her being so different from Pop, she was his perfect counter balance. Not surprisingly, we all were a little afraid of Coach Popovich so we got a little pleasure seeing him completely defer to her when she was around. During the offseason, we would spend time with Erin and the kids at the Pomona College pool and she would always let us know that we were always welcome to come by the house to talk or just hang out. The Popovichs had an ideal relationship built on love and mutual respect, and I never forgot that. Coach Popovich is not only considered a great basketball coach, but a few years ago Fortune Magazine ranked him as one of the Top 100 leaders in the world. I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that Erin is the primary reason Gregg Popovich is the person he is today. She has always been his partner behind the scenes. This past week, I was saddened to hear the news that Erin Popovich had passed away. She was an amazing woman. Thinking of her made me a little nostalgic for my basketball days, but most of all, it reminded me that we encounter great people throughout our lives. We may not always know it at the time, but we do. There are millions of people (mostly women) that do so much to make our lives better – and ask for nothing in return. Erin was one of those people. Who knew that our team mom at Pomona College was literally one of the greatest people in the world? I was lucky to know her, and the world is a little less great without her.
This week, in a brief to the judge of a major antitrust lawsuit known as Nosalek, the U.S. Department of Justice called for decoupling buyer and seller agent representation. If the DOJ gets what it wants, it would mean that listing agents would no longer be permitted to share their commissions with agents representing buyers, and buyers would have to pay out of pocket to have an agent represent them.
If you’re not familiar with the Sitzer class action lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors and several of the largest real estate brands, it centers on how real estate agents are compensated. The lawsuit claims that the practice of seller and buyer agent cooperation or sharing of commissions is an anti-trust violation and has resulted in inflated commissions paid by consumers. While a jury in Missouri has already sided with the plaintiffs, the judge has not rendered a final verdict.
If you have been following the news on the recent resignation of the President of Harvard over her unfortunate congressional testimony on antisemitism on college campuses, you might have read Bill Ackman’s post on X (formally known as Twitter) which essentially blamed everything on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies on college campuses. Ackman’s post was reposted by none other than Elon Musk, the owner of X, who wrote “DEI is just another word for racism. Shame on anyone who uses it”. Musk’s over-the-top response prompted Mark Cuban to jump into the conversation by defending DEI and calling it smart business. Cuban has since challenged Musk to a debate on the subject.