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Chris Paul


Chris Paul Will Be The Rare NBAPA President Who is Currently in His Prime

Clippers guard Chris Paul has a tall task ahead of him in fixing the union. I’m rooting for him.

I was very caught off guard by Clippers guard Chris Paul becoming NBAPA President. We went from talking about Lebron James possibly becoming the guy to no word at all to…Chris Paul? Los Angeles Clippers Chris Paul? Can’t be traded to the Lakers for Basketball Reasons Chris Paul? I certainly didn’t expect this.

Over a week ago I wrote for about why I understood Lebron James passing up a run and how important it is that he continue to be a champion for his peers whether he runs or not. I argued that I hope he offers himself up as a support system for whoever takes the position. But more importantly, in that article, I talked about the time commitment the next NBAPA President will have to make to really engender change. 

I wrote:

Although it would be intriguing to have the league’s face represent the players, there’s a reason that recent union presidents have been guys were lesser known and didn’t hold the office during the prime of their careers. Three-point sharpshooter, journeyman and league gadfly Derrick Fisher last served in the role. Before Fisher, Michael Curry and Antonio Davis took their turns. It’s been a while since heralded players Patrick Ewing and Isiah Thomas juggled the position while remaining stars on the court. That’s understandable given how things have changed over the past couple decades. 

The last Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was signed after a short lockout and a flurry of controversy about how much revenue the players gave back to the league. Fisher publicly clashed with the union’s executive director Billy Hunter which resulted in Hunter suing Fisher accusing him of “secret negotiations” with league owners. Hunter himself was investigated and subsequently fired for improper deals and hiring. The union badly needs a seasoned veteran who can dedicate some real time to cleaning things up.

I really can’t speculate about what kind of President Chris Paul will be. I’ve always found Paul to be an intriguing figure. Paul is at times profoundly serious yet oddly immature. He also seems like a dedicated husband and father and rather thoughtful when it comes to issues concerning his career despite being relatively young. But what 28 year old really wants to spend time poring through the CBA and repairing union relations? There’s even strife among the players as some committee members were nonplussed with folks like James who publicly said the NBAPA disarray. Some bridges will need to be built there as well. 

On the flip side, there is an opportunity for a somewhat fresh start since Commissioner Dr. Evil  David Stern is now outgoing. His replacement Adam Silver has obviously been a mainstay in the league for a long time but whether he takes the same heavy handed approach Stern has in the past remains to be seen.

Whatever the case, I like a man that doesn’t shy away from a challenge. And this is an enormous one. Congratulations to Chris.


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