Larry Harmon, once one of Carmelo Anthony's key financial advisors, shares the same name as the late actor who portrayed Bozo the Clown. But neither he nor his client are laughing now. Earlier this week, Melo sued Harmon and a slew of others, alleging that they stole $2 million from him and then covered up the theft.
These accusations contradict the image of Harmon presented in previous articles about him. A 2005 profile in the Sacramento Bee emphasized his efforts to instill fiscal discipline in the athletes with whom he worked, including Anthony and fellow NBA talents Drew Gooden and Ben Gordon. Here's how the piece begins:
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It's Larry Harmon's job to say "no" to young sports millionaires.
He nixed one request to spend $10,000 a month to buy and insure a $300,000 Mercedes Maybach. He advised another client to rein in his spending on interior decorations for a new condo. And, he will routinely give the thumbs-down to any risky business deal proposed in the locker room by a friend of a friend.
Harmon does get to say "yes," too -- as in yes to socking away money in savings accounts; yes to buying property in their hometowns if it's a good deal; yes to conservative investments designed to build long-term wealth.
The next year, in a report about Melo's money by the Rocky Mountain News' James Paton, Harmon again emphasized his financial restraint. The most telling excerpt:
Accountant Larry Harmon figured Team Melo receives anywhere from five to 20 business proposals a month. They reply to few of them.
Harmon hosts Anthony at his home outside Sacramento from time to time and believes his love of wine has rubbed off on his young client. Anthony now prefers shiraz. Harmon doesn't. However, Carmelo and the CPA are finally in accord on more important matters.
"Melo used to get (mad) at me," he said. "He'd say, 'Why are you killing all those deals?' But a lot of these are terrible. They're junk. Now he's understanding a lot better how we analyze them."
At this writing, Harmon's website puts up a good front, with a graphic that juxtaposes images of a basketball hoop and a private jet with event and news blurbs the name-drop Anthony, Gordon and plenty of other young jocks. But most of the references are years out of date, and none of the links are clickable. Indeed, the page as a whole seems dead -- just like the good relationship between Harmon and Melo.