Sources: LeBron James Decides Against Running For NBPA Office
Heat F LeBron James has "decided he will not run" for President or VP of the NBPA, according to a source cited by Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. Interested in union matters and the direction of the NBPA, James had "considered both executive committee positions comprised of players but concluded he would not have enough time at this point in his career to give the positions the necessary attention they require." James "discussed the role with several people and realized he didn't want to commit to something he couldn't focus on 100%, especially at such a critical time for the union." Some union leadership wanted James to "become president or vice president and give the NBPA a significant voice with major star power." Short of becoming an officer, James told NBPA leadership that he "wants to be a voice for change and when his voice is needed he will participate." The NBPA "plans to meet in Las Vegas next week and vote for a new president," and it appears that Thunder G Derek Fisher's run as president "will come to end." A source said that free agent and NBPA Exec Committee VP Roger Mason Jr. "has emerged as a strong candidate to replace Fisher" (USA TODAY, 8/13). ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst cited a source as saying that James "may instead support the possible candidacy" of Heat G and NBPA Treasurer James Jones (ESPN.com, 8/12).
SPEAKING OUT OF TURN: James last week said he felt the union was "going backwards." But Nets G and NBPA VP Jerry Stackhouse yesterday responded, calling James "misinformed." Stackhouse said the union is "in a good place" and "moving in the right direction." Stackhouse: "He needs to be informed in speaking on our union business." He added James' comments felt like a "kick in the stomach." Stackhouse: "I don't think he's had any dialogue with anybody since the All-Star break, but it is what it is. To make that statement about where we are as a union right now, he was misinformed." He added, "I would've liked (James) to come to the meeting next week and hear it and then voice his opinion." CBSSPORTS.com's Ken Berger noted Stackhouse, Jones, Mason and Warriors F Andre Iguodala have "taken a leadership role in trying to put the NBPA on the right path" in the wake of former Exec Dir Billy Hunter's ouster. Sources said that among the internal discussions has been that the "composition of the 30 player representatives be changed and that a formal role be found for retired players in the union's governance." Union by-laws would "have to be rewritten for such changes to take effect" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/12).