Posted August 27, 2013

Heat’s LeBron James confirms he is mulling NBPA president bid

Ben Golliver, Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher, LeBron James, Miami Heat, NBPA, Oklahoma City Thunder
LeBron James (left) has  (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

LeBron James (left) wants to see change in the NBPA after Derek Fisher’s tenure. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

LeBron James already has a host of titles on his résumé — Rookie of the Year, All-Star, MVP, Finals MVP, All-NBA First Team selection, All-Defensive First Team selection, NBA champion, Olympic gold medalist, Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year — but he has one more in mind: union leader.

ESPN.com reports that the Heat forward has confirmed that he is mulling a bid for the National Basketball Players Association presidency and that he would be running on a platform of change.

“I just think the union is going backwards, and it’s not in a good place right now,” James said Saturday in an interview with ESPN after an event for his foundation at which he gave away hundreds of bicycles and tablet computers to underprivileged children in his hometown.

“I think my voice could be huge in that situation.”

“I’m not sure I have the time to do it, but it’s something I’m going to think about with my team and go from there,” James said. “But I think we all can agree there’s been a lot of transition in our union in the last couple of years. If it’s not me in that seat then I hope it’s someone who is comfortable with it and can do the job.”

FoxSports.com first reported James’ interest in the position, which was filled by Thunder guard Derek Fisher since 2006.

“It’s something he has talked about with a small group of people,” a source with close ties to James told FOXSports.com 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.”

“LeBron doesn’t do anything halfway and he has serious concerns about whether he has the time he knows the job requires,” the source said. “The demands on LeBron’s time are already substantial. Whether it’s formally or informally, LeBron has strong opinions on the future of the union and will be very active in the rebuilding process.”

Back in February, the NBPA unanimously voted to cut ties with executive director Billy Hunter, who had worked for the organization since 1996, after a damaging review of the union’s business practices revealed a number of questionable business practices.

The internal investigation, sought by Fisher and conducted by the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison law firm, produced a lengthy report that called into question the presence of Hunter’s family members on the NBPA’s payroll, the legality of Hunter’s contract, potential conflicts of interest and the possible misuse of NBPA funds. One example: Fisher received a $22,000 watch from Hunter purchased with union funds.

The NBPA will reportedly meet later this summer in Las Vegas to discuss its leadership questions.

(Michael Cohen/Getty Images Sport)

LeBron James (far left) showed solidarity with the NBPA in September 2012. (Michael Cohen/Getty Images Sport)

The players saw their slice of Basketball-Related Income drop from 57 percent to roughly 50 percent in the latest round of Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, which also resulted in a lockout that produced a shortened 66-game 2011-12 season. The league’s current labor agreement includes an opt-out for either side in 2017, setting up another possible showdown.

Hall of Famers Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Oscar Robertson, Bob Lanier, Isiah Thomas and Patrick Ewing have all held the position since the union was founded in 1954. Over the last decade, Michael Curry, Antonio Davis and Fisher have served as president.

James has won the league’s MVP award in four of the last five seasons and has led the Heat to back-to-back titles.

12 comments
Stan Smith
Stan Smith

Please, Mr. James should know his mental capacity is not in an executive position, he know how to dunk a ball and that's it ! sorry but lets face facts.  

muser
muser

Maybe this way he can keep the player's union from allowing PED testing....

KiNgStephen
KiNgStephen

You people are so stupid sometimes. Really? Its called aging and working out all these are athletes they build everyday so its wrong for Lebron to fix a wrong all he and others want is a change. Just like you idiots want for America right??? I don't see how you guys have time to criticize a person you only know through TV and the internet. Its sad.

Theo
Theo

Please stop with this embarrassing begging for attention kid. It sucks that you cannot find peace with all you have but get out of our face for a few months please. You make most of us sick because the media has created something that doesn't exist and you and your idiotic friends let them. Reap it sad boy and go get some help. Money and success cannot cure emotional damage caused by such horrible parenting and shameful pandering from everyone in your life. This sad attempt to beg for our attention and acceptance is gross.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

Lebron, just play ball.  Leave the administration to has beens like Fisher.  Maybe your shooting guard woul;d be a better fit.  

nothereforfun
nothereforfun

Lebron isn't the only player that flops in the NBA, but whoever does get the job shouldn't be okay with flopping.

bambam824
bambam824

Ok, so he backed out of the all star slam dunk contest a few years ago, but I'm sure he'll jump into this race.

The Edge
The Edge

@bambam824 It makes sense.  Then he can help set the policy about PED testing.  After the Biogenesis leaks, we know NBA players are on the list.  And there aren't many in the NBA who are built like football players.  Oh, and the Biogenesis HQ is in Miami.  Just saying.  Not trying to connect the dots.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@The Edge @bambam824 Lebron was built like that in high school.  If he's using PEDs, he probably isn't getting them from Miami.

ebrown45
ebrown45

@Bearsclone @The Edge @bambam824No, he definitely was not built like that in high school.  I went to a bunch of his high school game.s and, although he wasn't skinny, he was not built like the truck he is now; not even close