Chris Paul a Candidate to Replace Derek Fisher as President of NBPA?
With Derek Fisher currently under fire from his own people inside the NBA Players Association, Maurice Evans tells USA Today that Chris Paul would make for a nice replacement: “The National Basketball Players Association Executive Committee is trying to push out its president, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher, for reasons not fully explained, with Los Angeles Clippers guard and committee member Chris Paul emerging as a potential replacement. NBPA vice president and Washington Wizards guard-forward Maurice Evans said that Paul would have to be nominated and elected. Until that could happen, executive committee first vice president and Boston Celtics guard Keyon Dooling would be interim president. ‘We can’t, by bylaws, say who is going to be the president; that would have to go to a vote,’ Evans said. ‘Chris Paul’s name may circulate as one of the players who could fulfill that role, given that he’s a younger player (at 26), on the executive committee and played a huge role during the lockout. He has the respect of a lot of players.’ But Fisher, 37, would have to resign, and as recently as Friday, he said that won’t happen. The NBPA executive committee Wednesday voted 8-0 ‘that it lost confidence in Derek Fisher’s ability to act as union president and requested Derek’s resignation,’ according to a statement the NBPA released late Friday. Fisher followed with a reply reiterating he will not resign. The fallout between Fisher and the NBPA has been brewing since the lockout and erupted last week with Fisher’s demand for ‘an independent review of the business practices and finances.’ Shortly after that, the executive committee voted it no longer wanted Fisher’s leadership and called for his resignation. ‘This is not proper protocol to handle this right before the playoffs,” Evans said. ‘The timing of this is what we’re most disappointed with. We’ve tried to clarify, this is not about Derek vs. Mo Evans or Derek vs. the Board or Derek vs. (executive director) Billy Hunter. We’re very satisfied with Billy Hunter and … the role he has played. This is nothing personal against Derek. We’re not trying to disrespect him or embarrass him. We’re trying to let it die down. We’re trying to focus on the game.’ What caused the fallout between Fisher and the NBPA is not exactly clear. At one point during the lockout, Fisher was accused of trying to cut a deal with league negotiators on the side. However, Fisher and the NBA denied that. Evans said the decision to call for Fisher’s resignation is ‘a result of certain actions. We feel this is the best action going forward.’ But Evans declined to elaborate on those actions. It does not seem a simple resolution is likely. Fisher is not walking away, and Evans said the bylaws must be combed to figure out what happens if Fisher won’t resign. It doesn’t seem Fisher will go quietly. His strongly worded statement distributed Friday paints the picture of a determined man.”