If you say the name Billy Hunter around many current NBA players, they cringe. If you ask them how good of a job they feel Derek Fisher did as president of the NBA Players Association, the answers will be unflattering. Secrecy, confusion, nepotism, and financial irregularities have consumed the players association. The unfair revenue split in the latest collective bargaining agreement was the final straw for many of the players, as rumors swirled that Fisher had cut a deal with the owners in exchange for his cooperation in negotiations. The leader of the players association needs to be a strong ambassador who is loyal to his players and unaffected by the power hungry clan of owners which the president deals with.
Well, old man Hunter and Fisher are out, and Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been voted the new president of the NBAPA. Bobcats’ Anthony Tolliver, Lakers’ Steve Blake, and free agent Roger Mason were among the candidates the Clippers star point guard beat out. Paul is the highest profile player ever named president.
“We’re excited about the road ahead,” Paul said. “It was something I saw as a challenge, something I knew I’d be able to handle. It’s an unbelievable opportunity, a lot of responsibility comes with this position.” Paul said to ESPN when discussing his new roll.
It comes as no surprise that the best floor general in the league was selected to become the new “general” of the NBAPA. Paul has always accepted challenges with a positive vibe, like when Paul was traded to Los Angeles and directed them into the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. He had guided the Los Angeles Clippers into a great position and looks to do the same with the players association.
The players union is heading into brand new territory with David Stern retiring and Adam Silver taking over as the commissioner. The development of relationship between the two new appointees is unclear, but the players of the National Basketball Association can rest assured they have the best ambassador in the league working for them.