The Los Angeles Clippers’ general counsel leaves the NBA to create a law firm specializing in athletes.
Bloomberg first reported on the departure of Nicole Duckett Fricke, who also served as vice president.
The announcement comes before the Clippers play a preseason game in Seattle against the Portland Trailblazers on Oct. 3.
Duckett’s LinkedIn profile identifies her as the first and only black woman to be an NBA team’s top lawyer. Duckett, who spent more than 15 years as a litigator at three Los Angeles law firms — the now-defunct class action law firm Milberg, Mayer Brown and Thelen — joined the Clippers as a best franchise lawyer in 2015.
His exit comes exactly a year after club ownership hired Alexander Winsberg, a former general counsel for Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels.
Ms. Duckett Fricke built the Clippers’ legal department from scratch as the organization’s first in-house counsel, creating a legal structure for the company and consolidating operational infrastructure.
She served as the City of Los Angeles Commissioner for the Board of Convention and Tourism Development, where she managed the City of Los Angeles contract with AEG Worldwide and oversaw the Los Angeles Tourism Board.
One could conclude that it allowed the Clippers to finally leave the arena, formerly known as Staples Center, for their own building near Inglewood.
Prior to joining the Clippers, she was general counsel for Regal Assets LLC, an alternative asset firm specializing in commodities.
Winsberg is now chief legal officer for the Clippers, Intuit Dome and Forum Entertainment.