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February 13, 2015 Updates

LeBron James was elected first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association on Friday, moving him into the union's second-most powerful leadership position beneath president Chris Paul, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

The NBPA is working to reshape itself under new executive director Michele Roberts. For years, there's been a push on the players' side to get the league's most prominent players into senior leadership positions. James' elevation to First Vice President is the most significant step yet in that process. The NBA and NBPA could be headed toward another labor showdown in 2017, when each side has the opportunity to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement and ignite a possible work stoppage. Yahoo! Sports

Adrian Wojnarowski: LeBron James has been elected first Vice President of the NBPA, league source tells Yahoo Sports. This moves James into senior leadership of the Players Association. Voting is underway at this hour in an NBPA meeting in New York. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

Jeff Zillgitt: Person close LeBron James said NBPA president Chris Paul asked James to be VP of NBPA. James felt a responsibility at this time to serve. Person close to new NBPA VP LeBron James said he recognized new time in NBA with TV deal, CBA and wanted to be a voice in NBPA. Twitter @JeffZillgitt

An all-red Nike LeBron 12 popped up on feet for King James himself today The sneaker switches out the standard Megafuse upper for a tiled look that's got an extra dimension, thanks to the miniature spikes sprouting up from each square. There's no info yet on whether or not this rather "Red October" looking LeBron 12 is a player exclusive, or if it's possibly a part of the John Elliott x Nike LeBron 12 range–the latter would make sense as the first ever NBA All-Star fashion show is today. Also in the all-red category for LeBrons is this upcoming pair of his Nike LeBron 12 NSW Lifestyle shoe. Sole Collector

LeBron James, who led all scorers with 31 points but did not have his best night, was asked about Blatt's growth as coach. "Well, I mean he's grown for sure," James said. "I mean, he's a rookie coach, just like a rookie player, every month you kind of get better and better and better and that's what he's been doing." James said more about Blatt, and we'll get to what he said momentarily. But "rookie coach" deserves further discussion. Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Cavs' players view Blatt as a rookie; Blatt believes his pedigree as a coach in Israel and Europe (where he won championships and a bronze medal for Team Russia at the 2012 Olympics) should count for something. There's the rub. It took a few months for things to begin to iron out, and the process is ongoing. "For our team, he's been great," James continued. "He communicates great, he pays attention to details, as players we just try to go out and whatever he wants us to do we try to implement it at a high level. "Every day is a learning experience for himself as well, just being his first year in the NBA, and I think he's handled it well." Cleveland Plain Dealer

February 12, 2015 Updates

Curry will star in a spree of new TV ads this week for sponsors Unilever, Express and Under Armour. His high profile will help position him as the league's next big athletic endorsement star in the vein of James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. The Golden State Warriors sharpshooter actually beat King James in this year's All-Star fan voting. He also jumped to No. 2 behind James from No. 7 on the NBA's list of best-selling jerseys. Both on the court and on Madison Avenue, Curry will take center stage during the four-day basketball celebration that culminates with TNT's telecast of the 64th NBA All-Star Game from Madison Square Garden Sunday night (7 p.m. ET). AdWeek.com

In 2014, he drew up a new model with his move back to Cleveland on a short-term contract that gave him unprecedented leverage for a player. He has built his own business empire with a trusted group of friends and advisors, eschewing traditional agents and marketers. He has spoken out on social issues, organizing a symbolic gesture in support of Trayvon Martin and publicly challenging NBA commissioner Adam Silver to expel former Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the wake of Sterling's racist comments. And he has worked to improve conditions for his fellow players, pressing behind closed doors for a weeklong break at the All-Star Game. "Trails have been blazed by what LeBron is doing," says USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has coached James to two Olympic gold medals. ESPN.com

Some point to the awkwardly handled "Decision" he made to leave Cleveland in the summer of 2010 as a first expression of James' will to self-determination: "I'm taking my talents to South Beach." But LeBron says the roots of the feeling run deeper and extend further. "I think a lot of it comes from being an only child," he says, reflecting on the years when he and his mother, Gloria, lived a difficult, nomadic life in Akron. "I had to become man of the house very fast. I felt empowered when I knew I had to grow up faster than the kids who had fathers, or maybe an older brother. That feeling stuck with me throughout grade school and high school. ESPN.com

"When I became a professional, I went the traditional way of signing with an agent and thought that was the way to do it because it was traditional. But I didn't feel like I felt when I became the man of my house when I was 7 years old. The only way to get back to that was if I empower guys around me. So I got rid of my agent and we started our own firm, our own marketing company, LRMR. I was with the guys that I trusted. Guys that I grew up with and guys that I believed in." ESPN.com

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