Steve's Favorite Sports Moment
"One of my fondest sports memories was from playing youth football as an 11-year-old. I ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown in a 6-0 win over a previously unbeaten, unscored upon team. I went completely untouched on the play. I also, along with two other kids, stopped their last minute drive with an awesome goal line stand. The game began with my touchdown and ended with me helping stop our opponent's last play of the game. It was a pretty exhilarating day."
One of the most respected agents in professional sports, Steve has spent the past 30 years building Kauffman Sports Management Group into an innovative leader in the field of sports representation. In February of 2008, Steve started a new chapter by shifting his focus from professional athletes to the representation of professional coaches and front office personnel. He burst onto the scene by negotiating a four year contract for Donnie Walsh, President of the New York Knicks.
Steve got his start in the world of sports in the 1970's providing accounting and legal services for such clients as the legendary Muhammad Ali and basketball Hall of Famers Julius Erving and Charles Barkley. He subsequently founded KSMG where he represented a number of high profile professional athletes. Some of his clients included Dominique Wilkins, Ben Wallace, Eric Snow, Brian Urlacher, Ron Darling, and Doc Rivers.
Known for his creativity in negotiations, Steve created several contract innovations including the first "opt-out" clause and the "for love of the game" clause, many of which have caused the NBA/NBPA to amend their collective bargaining agreement. He has chalked up several landmark contracts, including the record-setting Jon Koncak deal, making the journeyman center the 5th highest paid basketball player at that time. This led Steve Kelly of the Seattle Times to write, "Steve Kauffman should be inducted into basketball's Hall of Fame for this deal. Heck, he should be named Secretary of the Treasury."
Steve also served as the Commissioner of the Eastern Basketball Association which expanded under his leadership and became known as the Continental Basketball Association (CBA).
Steve is both an Attorney and a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A).
He holds a Bachelors degree in accounting from Temple University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has taught Sports Law at the Pepperdine University School of Law and is the author of the Sports Law volume of Entertainment Industry Contracts, Negotiating, and Drafting Guide. A Philadelphia native, Steve relocated to Malibu in 1991. He and his wife Jan have 5 children.