Adele and Rich Paul stepped out publicly for the first time at the NBA Finals on Saturday

By Gabrielle Chung
July 21, 2021 12:18 AM
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adele, rich paul
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Adele has a new man in her life: sports agent Rich Paul.

A source confirms to PEOPLE that the award-winning singer, 33, has been dating Paul, 40, for "a few months."

The pair stepped out publicly for the first time on Saturday during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, where the Milwaukee Bucks beat out the Phoenix Suns 123-119.

Following the match, ESPN's Brian Windhorst shared on The Lowe Post that Paul had brought "his girlfriend to the game to sit next to LeBron [James]."

"Rich Paul is at the game with Adele. LeBron is watching the game with Adele. This is the first time that they've come out in public together," Windhorst said.

Though the couple have yet to comment on their budding relationship, here's everything you need to know about Paul.

Adele
Adele and Rich Paul
| Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty

Most Valuable Agent

While Adele may be a powerhouse in the music industry, Paul is a stalwart on the sports scene.

As the founder of Klutch Sports Group, Paul represents some of the biggest names in basketball — including LeBron James, Ben Simmons and Trae Young.

Known for driving hard bargains, he oversaw the New Orleans Pelicans' trade of Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, who would go on to win the championship in 2020.

In a The New Yorker profile published in May, Paul was described by an NBA general manager as "absolutely unrelenting in getting his players what they want, and he will use every means available to him to do that."

rich paul
Rich Paul
| Credit: Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Cleveland Kid

Although Paul now calls Beverly Hills home, he was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where his late father Rich Sr. owned a corner store called R & J Confectionery.

Paul had enrolled in the University of Akron, but transferred to Cleveland State when Rich Sr. was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He dropped out of college a few months after his father's death.

"He was always telling me my education was important," Paul told New Yorker of his dad. "I always wanted to work. But I still probably would have finished school if my father was alive. I never wanted to let him down."

Sports Dreams

In his profile with the New Yorker, Paul said that he "definitely wanted to be an athlete" growing up, but knew that he had to think outside of the box in order to find a career in sports.

"Your heart is big, but I'm small in size," he said, explaining that he started to think like his father "as an entrepreneur and businessman."

He met his first — and possibly his biggest client — LeBron James in 2002 as they were both waiting for a flight to Atlanta at the Akron-Canton Airport. At the time, Paul was selling vintage sports jerseys and the authentic Houston Oilers he had on impressed James.

Paul began working with James shortly after the basketball player was drafted into the NBA. Alongside James and his childhood friends Maverick Carter and Randy Mims, Paul and the group became known as the Four Horsemen.

"I just felt like Rich was someone I wanted to grow with," James told ESPN Magazine in 2012. "He'd always kept it real with me, and I wanted him to be down with my team."

rich paul
LeBron James (L) and Rich Paul
| Credit: Jerritt Clark/Getty

Work Experience

After joining James' inner circle, Paul began working under Leon Rose at Creative Artists Agency. During his time there, he made powerful connections and developed lasting relationships that eventually helped him start his own agency.

"I had great teaching," Paul said in his previous ESPN Magazine profile. "Working with Nike and at CAA, that's the equivalent of going to Michigan Law School and to MIT."

In 2019, Paul made headlines when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) changed its regulations to require agents to hold a bachelors degree after he successfully negotiated a deal for high school prospect Darius Bazley to intern for New Balance rather than play college basketball for Syracuse University.

Dubbed the "Rich Paul Rule" by many, NCAA retracted the new regulation after the sports agent penned an op-ed in The Atlantic saying that the change was "preventing young people from less prestigious backgrounds, and often people of color, from working in the system they continue to control."

rich paul
Rich Paul
| Credit: Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Sharing His Story

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Roc Lit 101 — the publishing division of Jay-Z's Roc Nation and an imprint of Random House — has acquired Paul's life story for an upcoming memoir.

Titled Lucky Me, the book will document Paul's upbringing in Cleveland and his rise as a sports agent.

"Lucky Me is more than my story," Paul said in March. "Lucky Me is the story of every young Black man who grew up like me. I want to use my story to uplift and inspire those who lived this and educate those who didn't. I cannot tell you what it means to partner with my friend and mentor Jay-Z on this project. Lucky Me was the name of the book before I even spoke with Jay because his music was my life's soundtrack."