Here is how National Basketball Players Association executive director Michelle Roberts introduced herself to NBAers at a crucial meeting this summer:
“My past,” she told the room, “is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.”
They then quickly elected her as their new leader.
Roberts is gearing up for a looming labor war with team owners – both sides can opt out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement as of Dec. 15, 2016 – and says the idea of limiting player salaries is offensive to her.
Per Sheridan Hoops:
What are your thoughts on the age limit, restricting the age someone can come into the NBA to 19, instead of 18, as it once was.
MR: “The word that is troubling to me, generally speaking, is ‘restriction.’ My DNA is offended by the notion that someone should not be able to make a living because he needs to have been alive a year longer. That’s Michele, not Michele NBPA executive director.” […] “I know what it means to want to be able to make a living and support your family. (Emmanuel Mudiay) can’t play in his country because he’s not old enough. That makes no sense to me.”
Your thoughts on the max salary?
MR: “I have difficulty with rules that suggest that for some reason, in this space, we are not going to allow you to do what is ordinarily allowed in every other aspect of American life – you can work and get compensated at the level that someone thinks you’re worth being compensated at. And for all the reasons that it might be reasonable, it still – as a base – the premise offends me. So for me, there needs to be a justification that is substantial. And I’m told that in large part it’s because there’s an inability on the part of some owners to control their check-writing habits. So that’s where I am. Now, there’s a history that led up to max contracts, and I’m not going to pretend it’s not significant. But if you ask me off the cuff, that’s my response.”