SBD/July 28, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA Players Set To Elect New NBPA Exec Dir, With Three Candidates Remaining

Kevin Johnson (c) will no longer be part of the process to find a new Exec Dir
NBA players are scheduled to meet in Las Vegas today to elect a new NBPA Exec Dir. Three candidates -- Mavericks President & CEO Terdema Ussery, Information Technology Industry Council President & CEO Dean Garfield and Skadden Arps Partner Michele Roberts -- each will have 45 minutes to give a presentation and take questions from players this afternoon. The players will then break for dinner, during which they will be able to deliberate among themselves and ask additional questions, if they would like, of the candidates. The vote is scheduled to take place at 8:00pm PT. It takes a two-thirds majority of player reps from the 30 teams and the Exec Committee to elect a new Exec Dir under the NBPA constitution. Each team has one vote and there are nine NBPA Exec Committee members. Originally, the union was planning two days of meetings. But in an e-mail NBPA President Chris Paul sent to players Friday, it was stated there are no meetings scheduled for tomorrow. Meanwhile, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson on Friday informed NBA player agents he would no longer be part of the process to find a new Exec Dir. He had been chairing the search committee. Sources said that disagreements had been brewing between Johnson and some members of the Exec Committee for about a week. One source said that Johnson wanted to hold the election tomorrow and the members of the committee wanted to hold it today. Other sources said there were multiple issues that arose recently after Johnson worked collaboratively with the NBPA player leaders for months. The NBPA has been without an Exec Dir since Billy Hunter was fired during the ’13 All-Star weekend (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer).

A DIFFERENCE OF OPINIONS: YAHOO SPORTS' Adrian Wojnarowski noted Johnson left the search process after he "lost a power struggle" with the NBPA Exec Committee. Sources said that Johnson "wanted to play a larger controlling role in the Monday meetings to present three finalists for the job, and executive committee members balked at the idea, citing U.S. Department of Labor regulations and NBPA bylaws." Sources added that Paul had "a strong relationship with Johnson, but there was less support of Johnson within the executive committee" (, 7/25). USA TODAY's Sam Amick cited a source as saying that the decision was "sparked by a philosophical difference in how the search was handled in its later stages" (, 7/26).
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