NBPA unanimously re-elects Roberts as director
LAS VEGAS — The National Basketball Players Association unanimously elected Michele Roberts to serve another four-year term as executive director, union president Chris Paul announced Tuesday.
The re-election assures Roberts, 62, who has served four years in the position, will lead the union into the next negotiations on the collective bargaining agreement with the NBA.
“When we started this journey four years ago — it doesn’t seem that long — we talked about as players about taking our union back,” said Paul, the Houston Rockets point guard. “We went through a year and a half of a search trying to find the right fit and right person to lead our union, and she has been nothing short of amazing, with the staff, everyone that works at the union, with the players, with the full body of players and representing us and our thoughts. We just wanted to show her how much we appreciate her.”
Roberts was hired in the wake of the firing of former NBPA executive director Billy Hunter amid serious concerns about his business practices in the position. Roberts described many players as “quite suspicious” of the union when she was first hired as executive director.
“I understood and did not quibble with the reality that I had to create a system that allowed them to really believe that I and the team we assembled were going to be interested in one priority and one priority only, and that is the best interest of the players,” Roberts said.
“I think we’ve done very well. It did not happen overnight. The players did not necessarily believe they could trust me or our team until we demonstrated that we were worthy of it and that we were as passionate about them having control of their union as they were. It’s been miraculously four years, but it doesn’t seem like it and doesn’t feel like it. But I do think that we’ve turned a corner. We’re not done, but we are at a place that I’m proud of the work that we do for the players.”