Following five years as President of Basketball Operations for the Phoenix Suns, Lon Babby recently completed a year as Senior Advisor. Identified as one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” for media and sports law by Washingtonian magazine, one of the “20 Most Influential Agents” by Sports Business Journal and one of the 100 “most powerful in sports” by The Sporting News, Babby earned a reputation as an industry leader in sports and contract negotiations in his nearly 35 years as an attorney with Washington, DC-based Williams & Connolly, LLP before joining the Phoenix Suns in 2010.
As a partner at Williams & Connolly, Babby became recognized as a highly regarded player agent. He entered player representation in 1994 at which time he devised a new model based upon charging players on an hourly basis, rather than the traditional contract percentage. His principled approach became an alternative that appealed to a number of elite athletes and his stable of clients grew to include some of the NBA’s most respected players including Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, Ray Allen and Shane Battier. In addition, Babby represented marquee Major League Baseball and WNBA players as well as many journalists and other media clients.
Babby began his career in sports representing the NFL’s Washington Redskins (1977-1984) and then MLB’s Baltimore Orioles (1979-1994), where he was deeply involved in the senior management of the club. He first served as club counsel and then general counsel, overseeing player contract negotiations, advertising and marketing contracts, labor issues and general business matters, including the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. During his tenure, the Redskins appeared in two Super Bowls, winning in 1983, and the Orioles appeared in two World Series, also winning in 1983.
In addition to his work as a negotiator, Babby also served as a litigator. He was involved in several high profile cases including the defense of John Hinckley, Jr., who shot President Reagan.
A graduate of Lehigh University and Yale Law School, and former editor of the Yale Law Journal, Babby served as an adjunct professor of law at George Washington University Law School. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and in 2007, was elected to the Greater Washington, DC Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Phoenix chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Symphony. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arizona Community Foundation and also serves on the Advisory Board of Arizona State University’s Sports Law & Business Program and is team teaching a course on Negotiations. He serves on the Board of the Be a Leader Foundation, a Phoenix-based youth mentoring program. In addition, he conducts negotiation workshops and serves as a consultant with a focus on negotiations.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Babby and his wife, Ellen, split their time between Washington, DC and Phoenix, Arizona. They have two children and three grandchildren, all on the East coast.