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Chris Paul elected as players’ union president

Aug 21, 2013, 8:27 PM EDT

The days of veteran players with nothing more than fringe roles on NBA rosters heading up the players’ union are over for now, because for the first time in over a decade, a legitimate All-Star with plenty of name recognition has been elected as president.

From Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was elected NBPA president on Wednesday at the union’s summer meeting in Las Vegas, a person familiar with the vote told USA TODAY Sports.

Paul, who was previously an NBPA vice president, now is charged with putting the players’ union in the right direction after approximately 18 months of instability and turmoil.

Paul replaces Derek Fisher, whose tenure ends in a shroud of controversy that resulted in the February firing of Billy Hunter, the union’s longtime executive director, and lawsuits, including Hunter’s lawsuit against the NBPA and Fisher in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The report was confirmed by the National Basketball Players Association, who congratulated Paul publicly via Twitter.

This is a huge step in a positive direction for a union that essentially got trampled financially during the last lockout, and having a star like Paul representing the league’s players gives more weight to the position than has been in place in previous years.

Patrick Ewing was the last recognizable name to hold the presidency, and his term ended in 2001.

LeBron James was reportedly mulling a bid, but ultimately declined the position in a move that was completely expected. James will have his voice heard, however, as he and Paul are close off the court, and the two were very vocal in meetings leading up to and during the lockout to try to get union leadership to hold out for the best deal possible.

Roger Mason was said to be seeking the position leading up to Wednesday’s vote, but he’s still without a team for next season, and despite his involvement in union matters over the years making him qualified, it’s tough to compete with both the experience and the star power that Paul brings to the job. Mason will still have a role, however, and was elected as first vice president.

  1. rickyspanish - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    This good for the union, Chris Paul is great at whining like a petulant child until he gets what he wants, remember Vinny del Negro, anybody?

    • libertarianvoter - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      Maybe someday you’ll be considered a valuable part of an organization and have the leverage to influence the direction of the business, too. Though, honestly, judging by how much esteem you hold for Vinny Del Negro and inability to understand how real life works, maybe you shouldn’t plan on putting down that fry bucket any time soon.

      • rickyspanish - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:54 AM

        You figured out my entire life from that one statement? You are funny.

    • therealhtj - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      So when a scrub was president, all the scrubs got screwed over. Now that a max money guy is president, do they have any hope?

      • franbotel - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM

        The scrubs are never screwed in pro sports. Super stars are always underpaid because of the salary cap, that’s why role players can come straight from foreign leagues and compete. After the top 60 players the rest are fungible. The CBA and Union is the reason,

  2. motobus - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Cliff Paul**

    • money2long - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      assisting off the court !

  3. legend30 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    LeBron and CP3 are like brothers. So expect LeBron to be with CP3 for most of the meetings. CP3 and LeBron probably seen some reports indicating that Roger Mason Jr. was going to become the next players’ union president, then they were like “ohhhh helll nahhh.”

  4. 2016olympics - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    What is Cliff Paul going to do now??

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Don’t underestimate. He’s the brains behind the campaign.

  5. thomaskouns - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    This doesn’t make sense as Paul was the one who wanted to keep Billy Hunter as Union President when D.Fish didn’t despite all of the unethical allegations against Hunter (hiring his family and hiring the employers of his family members, 2 mil in vacation pay for not taking a vacation, etc) which all turned out to be true.

  6. beavertonsteve - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Mirroring real life the 99% elect one of the 1% to represent them.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 22, 2013 at 2:07 AM

      Good luck convincing people that NBA players fall into the 99%.

      • beavertonsteve - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Dude, it’s an analogy. I didn’t say NBA players were part of the 99%. Chris Paul is part of the 1% of NBA players, the max deal types, non-representative of the majority of players.

  7. bux1022 - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Who’s the second vice president? Lol

  8. nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    wow Kurt Helin really “in the know” with his Roger Mason prediction a few hours ago…

    • Kurt Helin - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      Nobody else was running going into the meeting. I’ll live with saying he was likely.

  9. onlyavoice - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    No Plastic Frame Glasses With Glass Lenses???
    I Guess He Wore Them To The Interview,
    Gotta Look Intelligent LOL.

  10. rushbacker - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Like his ego wasn’t big enough already. . .

  11. delusionalcardsfan - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:56 PM


  12. addict2sport - Aug 22, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Would’ve been interesting had CP3 been union pres last season when the commish blocked him being traded to the Lakers.

  13. cubb1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    Paul? No wonder the NBPA is a joke. Still not as bad as the NFLPA, though.

  14. saadasme - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Why do you guys comment on who is president on someone’s else Union? He does not represent you or your interest, so let the players decide who they want.

  15. mogogo1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I hope he’s learned a thing or two since he was blindly backing Billy Hunter. You get the vibe that the NBA players don’t follow the goings-on in their own union.

  16. spursareold - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    It doesn’t matter who the president is. The stars do NOT control the union, even if they elected one of their own as prez. There are a lot more guys making $1M than guys making $20M, and that means that they have more votes, which is why they vote to end work stoppages when they run out of money. The stars can’t do a damn thing about it. It’s simple economics and the owners know it.

  17. abchome - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Chris Paul will be blamed nepotism for hiring Cliff Paul…Haha

  18. miamatt - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    This should be a slam dunk. Cliff Paul can handle all the day to day operations, and Chris just shows up at the podium when the media needs a quote. Brilliant.

  19. losanginsight - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Hopefully he doesn’t try to do away with the flopping rule or getting called for little man tantrums.

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