LeBron James Could Run for President of NBA Players Association

by August 01, 2013

by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

The NBA’s best player and its biggest star, according to multiple reports, could be looking to head the players’ union.

LeBron James played a critical role in the ouster of former union executive director Billy Hunter, and he’s said to be mulling a bid for the union president gig.

Per Fox Sports and ESPN:

“It’s something he has talked about with a small group of people,” a source with close ties to James said on Wednesday. “He was very vocal at the meeting during the All-Star Weekend about the need for the union to dramatically change. There is a new executive director coming in and new commissioner. He recognizes that this is the time for the union to change.” Derek Fisher’s term as president expired this summer. It’s unlikely that Fisher, who recently signed a new contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder, would retain the presidency since he is facing a lawsuit from the union’s former executive director, Billy Hunter, and because Fisher is at the end of his career.

James is giving a run “some very heavy thought,” one source said. The biggest consideration for James will be the time commitment being the union president would require. James has limited time to give because of sponsorship and charity commitments in addition to playing. Deep playoff runs with the Miami Heat the past three seasons have also been taxing. Still, James has been investigating the issue with advisers and fellow players this summer. “It’s a very important position for where things are going,” a source close to James said.

Jerry Stackhouse, the players’ association first vice-president, has been the main point of contact for union activities this summer. There could be an election to determine the next union president during the annual summer meeting in Las Vegas later this month. Since Patrick Ewing’s reign ended in 2001, role players have led the NBA’s players union and that has hurt their leverage at the negotiating table with owners and the League.

If LeBron James runs and wins the post, he would become the first in-his-prime union president (and superstar) since Isiah Thomas in the late ’80s and early ’90s.