Although he briefly considered running for President of the National Basketball Players Association, LeBron James has decided against heading the league’s union. USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt reported the story, citing anonymous sources familiar with James’ decision.
After voicing his displeasure with the direction the union has been moving of late, King James ultimately came to the conclusion that he is not at a point in his career where he could seriously fulfill the duties required of the NBPA president or vice president.
Earlier in the week, arguably the best player in basketball told ESPN that “I just think the union is going backwards, and it’s not in a good place right now.”
LeBron called Miami Heat teammate and secretary-treasurer of the NBPA James Jones to inform him of his decision today according to Zillgitt’s source.
Interested in the direction that the NBPA union has been heading, LeBron James realized that he could not commit the time necessary to fix a union at a crossroads. With former executive director Billy Hunter ousted from his position, and a presidential election also in the mix, the NBPA has an opportunity to greatly change its ways. Current president Derek Fisher is rumored to be pulling out of the running and not continuing his tenure.
Hunter was removed from his position following a scandal surfacing. He was sued by Fisher and the NBPA for his handling of union matters and finances during the All-Star break, although both parties have asked the California court to drop the suit.
The NBPA will meet in Las Vegas, Nevada next week to fill the vacancies left by Fisher and Hunter. The front-runner for the presidential position appears to be current vice-president Roger Mason Jr according to USA Today Sports.
Because it is impossible to argue that James is one of the greatest players in the NBA today, LeBron would have brought a great deal of power to the union. Many players in the league realized this and were hoping that James would announce his candidacy and pursue the NBPA presidential position.
LeBron himself realized this fact. As he told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, “my voice would be huge.”
Despite not running for NBPA president, LeBron James will still attempt to use his influence whenever he feels it is necessary regarding union matters. He plans to have his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, inform him of union matters, enabling him to remain in the loop with current affairs.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express