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Stackhouse says LeBron “misinformed” about state of union

Aug 13, 2013, 11:05 AM EDT

Jerry Stackhouse, Draymond Green AP

LeBron James is not going to be the next president of the NBA players union. While I think his intent to have a bigger voice in union matters is serious, the fact is the man has a lot of commitments as the biggest player in the NBA — on the court trying to lead the Heat to a third straight title, and off the court selling Nikes in China and Powerbeats to everyone. Plus, he’s getting married soon.

But he gained notice when he said he thinks the union is going “backwards” right now.

Jerry Stackhouse, one of the union’s executive committee members who helped lead both the ouster of executive director Billy Hunter and then made sure Derek Fisher didn’t stay on as president, believes LeBron James misses the point. Stackhouse was tactful in an interview with’s Ken Berger, but he got his point across.

“He’s the best player in the game right now and we want the entire league to be involved,” Stackhouse said in a phone interview while in New York on union and other business. “But he needs to be informed in speaking on our union business….

Stackhouse, one of seven executive committee members elected at All-Star weekend in Houston this past February — when longtime executive director Billy Hunter was ousted — said James’ comments felt like a “kick in the stomach.”

“I don’t think he’s had any dialogue with anybody since the All-Star break, but it is what it is,” Stackhouse said. “To make that statement about where we are as a union right now, he was misinformed.”

While other stars have held the union presidency — from Bob Cousy back in the day to Patrick Ewing — it is different now with the number of off-the-court commitment the elite players have. Plus, there was a push to make sure the union didn’t just represent star players and had more common/role players in positions of power (your Derek Fishers). The only real name player on the NBA’s executive committee is Chris Paul (and he’s not expected to seek the presidency).

Next week the union is meeting to discuss the open presidency and executive director positions. LeBron has other obligations and will not be there. Most players, stars or not, will miss it. But at that meeting the union will have early discussions about changing the entire structure of player representation in the union (currently one guy is elected to represent each team, but that has it’s challenges with different levels of interest, plus guys get traded).

There are going to be some big changes coming to the union, all leading up to the 2017 showdown with the owners over the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. That’s when the next lockout is expected.

  1. adamsjohn714 - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    I’m not sure what misinformation he has. Looks like the owners once again got a larger piece of the pie during the negotiations.

    • casualcommenter - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      Agreed. The NBA player’s union basically lost in their negotiations with the owners for the 2011 CBA. Also, a high ranking union executive was recently removed from office due to allegations of corruption.

      “Incompetence and corruption? Gee, why would anybody think the NBA player’s union isn’t doing great?” (/sarcasm)

    • akronhatesyoulechoke - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      There are guys at the end of the bench, never playing a meaningful minute of an NBA season making a million dollars or more! The rookie minimum is almost 1/2 a million for 6-8 months in a year of “work”! The players are doing just fine. Let them try to make that kind of money in the real world.

  2. 23chameleons - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    I think LeBron should be required to take Econ101 before he starts in on the Union President and Duke alum.

  3. itsonlyaspeedbump - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I’ll preface this by saying that it is better if there is zero PED use in sports and that a level playing field is the goal.

    Now, I would like someone to give a good reason that is not self-righteous or moral grand-standing and explain exactly why we should be OUTRAGED about PED use by basketball players (or baseball players or any other pro athlete for that matter). Dont say ‘its cheating’ because cheating has been a part of pro sports since the dawn of time and to zero in on this particular type of cheating is silly and hypocritical.

    I’ll ask my question another way: if player X on your favorite team took PEDs and then led your team to a championship beating LBJ and the Heat, do you still have the same outrage against him?

    • louhudson23 - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Answering a wrong post is silly….so here goes….no evidence that PED use in basketball or football (or by baseball pitchers) has had the detrimental effect on gameplay in those sports that PED’s created in baseball. The game was distorted,game play was altered…baseball is not Home Run Derby….and fortunately the game is returning to it’s true state,where pitching ,defense and fundamental game play are crucial parts of the game…..

      • muhangis - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:33 AM

        Why is it a wrong post? Because you are narrow-minded, and not open for discussion.

    • casualcommenter - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      PEDs, while improving athletic ability, often have harmful side effects to key organs such as the liver.

      If PED use becomes accepted in pro-sports, it’ll be impossible to convince young athletes that they shouldn’t use PEDs for two reasons.
      First, their role models will be openly using PEDs, and good luck convincing kids not to follow their example.
      Second, with young men being drafted into the NBA at age 19, or the NFL at age 20, or MLB at age 18, and etc., plenty of 16 to 18 year olds (if not younger) will feel tremendous pressure to use PEDs because use of PEDs prior to getting drafted will help improve their draft position as well as allow them to start their career as more effective athletes.

      In general, kids shouldn’t be using drugs that alter their metabolism while they’re still developing physically since it could have harmful long-term consequences.

      • casualcommenter - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Saying, “Kids could get hurt” isn’t “moral grand standing.”
        It’s stating a very likely consequence of allowing the widespread use of anabolic steroids, blood doping, “concentration-enhancers” like Adderall, and HGH among professionals.

        It’s naive to say, “Oh, if celebrity athletes start using PEDs openly, that will have NO effect on the use of PEDs by kids who worship them.”

        Remember – Gatorade is a performance-enhancing substance. However, Gatorade is not banned because there are no harmful long-term effects from drinking it. There’s no ethical dilemma about letting kids drink Gatorade.

        There is an ethical dilemma about having 15 year olds take anabolic steroids or take unprescribed Adderall to try to get an edge.

      • itsonlyaspeedbump - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        (Okay PBT, I know that I’m the dunce for commenting on the wrong post, but seriously, any way to just magically move these comments to the right post?)

        Obviously if a 14 year old baseball player in Wisconsin sees his idol Ryan Braun taking steroids and being great, that is going to negatively affect his course of action as to whether or not he should be taking PEDs. But I would argue that the pressure put on this kid to be great and win at all costs by his peers, coaches, and even parents is a much greater contributing factor to a kid deciding to take PEDs. How many families are out there that see their kid as the ‘ticket out of the hood?’ How many coaches see their star player as their jump to a higher level of coaching competition? How many dad’s are out there that forget their kid is only a child and demand unreasonable athletic excellence from them? And the PEDs the kid gets his hands on doesn’t come from the ‘role model’ pro athlete. It comes from his peers, coaches, and (heaven forbid) his parents. We consistently will be outraged at the pro athlete for bad behavior while justifying or ignoring our own (egregious) behavior.

        @louhudson23, while I certainly respect your viewpoint, keep in mind that the game was distorted for decades because baseball did not allow people of color to play the game. Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, George Suttles, Oscar Charleston, and dozens of others were prevented from joining mainstream white-only baseball. Putting aside issues of institutionalized racism, leaving out players of color thinned out the talent pool of baseball for years in a way that had arguably just as big or even larger an impact on the history of baseball and its records than a few extra home runs by players that have eventually been found out and discredited. In short, if your worried about integrity or sanctity of the game, understand that those ideals were lost years ago.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 13, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        sppedbump: excellent comment.

    • akronhatesyoulechoke - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Tell that to the young athlete busting his butt hours in the gym trying to do it naturally, only to be beaten out by the guy on PEDs. It is very much possible that one day we will find out LeBron was on PEDs, earned millions in endorsements and won championships while Kevin Durant always finished second to him and missed out on all the endorsements & lost millions. Is that fair?

    • muhangis - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:32 AM

      I will say this, I have read many, many articles and done tons of internet research on HGH to discover it’s negative health consequences (I mean really TRYING to dig out the negative health factors); what I found….. negative health or side-effects were essentially NON-EXISTENT. The mere minus to one’s health as I discovered – if you have a tumor or cancerous cells, or cancerous cells growing in your body, then it will speed up the development of your disease (or death sentence.) If the growth is malignant, not benign. And yes, that is a terribly large detriment, and a great number of people do die of cancer every year, but the overwhelming greater percentage of us currently are not in such a predicament in our lives.

      Now is it possible that if you do not currently have cancer or a malignant growing tumor, that the use of HGH could prevent such in your life – w/ the addition of exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle? There is no certain yes or no answer on that to speak of, however, there is the significant possibility that it quite well could (from what I’ve read) – more research and science on the drug is the only way we will be able to have more definitive information on that.

      But the health benefits to HGH usage enormously outweigh any spoken negatives, I do mean enormously. I’m not simply speaking for athletes here, I am speaking for your average Joe among us.

      Don’t believe me? So do the research yourself.

  4. itsonlyaspeedbump - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Wow that is totally the wrong post smh. o well

  5. kb2408 - Aug 13, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Translation: He’s a great player but not the brightest bulb in the cabinet.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:27 AM

      why do you put lit bulbs in the cabinet? Is there a lamp in there? You don’t sound like the brightest crayon in the box.

  6. muhangis - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    Thus, anybody who tells you that HGH use is wrong and should be banned from the sport, at same time never provide single reason on why it is wrong (from a health standpoint.)

    They have merely gained their view upon popular opinion.

    [I cannot speak correctly about steroids here because I have not researched enough on them – although much health detriments regarding steroid use I have been informed of over time.]

    So let the thumbs downs begin.

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