LeBron James won’t run for union president
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
After days of careful consideration and research, Miami Heat star LeBron James decided he will not run for president or first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, a person familiar with James’ decision told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about James’ plans.
Interested in union matters and the direction of the NBPA, James had considered both executive committee positions comprised of players but concluded he would not have enough time at this point in his career to give the positions the necessary attention they require. James called Heat teammate and NBPA secretary-treasurer James Jones on Monday and told him of his decision.
James discussed the role with several people and realized he didn’t want to commit to something he couldn’t focus on 100%, especially at such a critical time for the union, which needs to name a new executive director to replace Billy Hunter as well as vote for a president.
Union leadership wanted James to become president or first vice president and give the NBPA a significant voice with major star power.
Short of joining the union, James told NBPA leadership that he wants to be a voice for change and when his voice is needed, he will participate. He also indicated he wants to be keep abreast of union matters through his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, just like many other players ask their agents to help them stay on top of union issues.
The NBPA plans to meet in Las Vegas next week and vote for a new president, and it appears that Derek Fisher’s run as president – the past 18 months have been mired in controversy – will come to end.
NBPA executive committee vice president Roger Mason Jr., has emerged as a strong candidate to replace Fisher, a person familiar the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about union matters.
In Las Vegas, the union also will take steps toward finding a replacement for Hunter, the former NBPA executive director who was ousted at All-Star weekend … [For more on LeBron James says he's not running for union president, click here.]