The NBA Players Association (NBPA) has traditionally had role players near the end of their careers in its senior leadership positions, primarily due to the fact that they had the time thanks to a lack of other on- and off-court obligations.
The league’s biggest stars have been vocal during periods of labor negotiations, but didn’t always have an actual seat at the table when the bargaining took place.
That changed in a big way when Chris Paul was elected NBPA President in August of 2013, taking over as Derek Fisher’s replacement after his tenure ended in a bit of controversy. Now, Paul has reportedly added the game’s biggest star to his cabinet after an All-Star weekend vote has taken place.
LeBron James has been elected first Vice President of the NBPA, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
This moves James into senior leadership of the Players Association. Voting is underway at this hour in an NBPA meeting in New York.
NBPA president Chris Paul had been pushing LeBron James to join him in No. 2 spot in union, sources tell Yahoo. Significant 1-2 punch.
The union is putting itself in a position of strength in advance of the next round of collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Michele Roberts, installed as new NBPA director this past summer, is a person to be reckoned with — she has already made statements publicly that have caused commissioner Adam Silver to respond.
What this does more than anything is give weight to the players’ side of things. James has personal and intimate knowledge of all facets of a player’s basketball life — from being a champion and MVP, to all of the off-court responsibilities that come with that. His involvement can only be seen as something incredibly positive.