The Los Angeles Clippers general counsel is leaving the NBA to start a boutique law firm catering to athletes.
Bloomberg first reported on the departure of Nicole Duckett Fricke who also served in a VP role.
The announcement comes before the Clippers play a preseason game in Seattle against the Portland Trailblazers Oct. 3
Duckett’s LinkedIn profile identifies her as the first and only Black woman to serve as the top lawyer for an NBA team. Duckett, who spent more than 15 years as a litigator at three law firms in Los Angeles—class action firm Milberg, Mayer Brown, and now-defunct Thelen—joined the Clippers as the franchise’s top lawyer in 2015.
Her exit comes exactly a year after the club’s 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 the ground up as the organization’s first in-house counsel, creating legal structure for the company and cementing operational infrastructure.
She served as a Los Angeles City 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 she made it possible for the Clippers to eventually leave the arena, formerly known as Staples Center, for their own building in nearby Inglewood.
Prior to joining the Clippers, she was the General Counsel for Regal Assets LLC, an alternative assets firm that specializes in commodities.
Winsberg is now legal chief for the Clippers, Intuit Dome, and Forum Entertainment.