Rumor: Former Knicks executive Steve Mills likely new players union head

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When Stu Jackson stepped down as the VP and enforcement arm of the NBA, this rumor somehow got started around the Web (as often seems to happen): Jackson was going to take over as the head of the NBA players union.

That doesn’t make much sense — you don’t take a guy from the enemy’s inner circle and put him in charge of negotiating the next collective bargaining agreement for you. He sees things through their eyes, not yours.

SBN’s Tom Ziller was making this point on twitter when the well connected Zach Lowe of Grantland threw out this comment:

This is not the first time we heard this rumor, it’s been thought of around the league for a while.

Mills (a former basketball player at Princeton) was the COO of Madison Square Garden, the owners of the Knicks and Rangers. His stocked dipped there in part because he helped bring in Isiah Thomas, but this is the Knicks front office so nothing is ever just that simple. He is currently the CEO of Athletes & Entertainers Wealth Management Group.

The union has been without an executive director since Billy Hunter was ousted back at the All-Star Game by a unanimous vote of team representatives. An audit of the union had raised a lot of questions about nepotism and how the union’s money was spent (but there was a lot of other issues with Hunter being let go tied back to how the lockout ended).

We’ll see if this happens, but it’s something to watch.

Either or both sides can opt out of the current CBA in 2017. One side will. If I were a betting man I would bet on another lockout then.