HoopsHype Michele Roberts rumors

October 29, 2014 Updates

Despite ominous statements from prominent players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant about how the NBA's new TV deal will affect collective bargaining, former commissioner David Stern said Wednesday night he believes the league will avoid a work stoppage in 2017. "I think that our players are very smart and successful and they have hired what seems to be a smart and successful litigator," Stern told CBSSports.com. "Our owners are smart and successful and have got Adam Silver, an accomplished litigator, too. And I have no doubt that they're going to work it out." CBSSports.com

Howard Beck: NBPA news: Roger Mason hired as director of player relations, per sources. Mason among several new hires by exec director Michele Roberts. Twitter @HowardBeck

October 23, 2014 Updates

Players' union executive director Michele Roberts told the AP that she has had substantive dialogue with the league about addressing domestic violence and educating players and their families about it. But as a former public defender, she is also an advocate for due process. "I don't, quite frankly, know what the rush is," Roberts said. "Many of the teams are saying, until this is resolved I'd like at least for you to not play. I'm not fond of that." Boston Herald

October 20, 2014 Updates

But she also was brought in to try and clean up the mess and dysfunction left behind in the wake of the players forcing Billy Hunter out in 2013 “I do agree that, on one level, I was hired to be a fighter,” Roberts told The Post in a lengthy and candid interview inside the union’s Harlem headquarters last week. “Any executive director needs to understand that’s a part of what he or she is going to be expected to do. “But I think what is equally important, for me, is to repair what has been a foundation that has been subjected to some injury by, unfortunately, my predecessor. What we don’t have, and what we will have, is a management structure that is both able to interact with our counterparties with the league and elsewhere, but a structure that allows the players to do unequivocally what they want to do, and that’s run their own union…. They didn’t hire me, and they were not interested in hiring, someone to run things for them, to simply let them know what’s going on.” New York Post

October 16, 2014 Updates
October 9, 2014 Updates

With new leadership in place on the player’s side it will be interesting to see if new Executive Director Michele Roberts uses this opportunity to buy some good will among the rank and file, by way of a nice lump sum check to every player, rather than fighting a smoothing plan and letting the 140 or so players headed to free agency absorb the gains from the new TV deal. This is issue is far from decided, so there will clearly be more to know in the coming weeks, however team sources say they are not planning for a massive cap increase in 2016, so that’s at least one indicator that something on the smoothing front could be agreed to. Basketball Insiders

October 7, 2014 Updates

The current collective bargaining agreement actually runs through 2021, but either side can opt out in 2017, and the players are almost certain to do so, for obvious reasons: 1. The union made massive financial concessions in 2011, giving up $300 million a year. 2. The new TV deal, as James indicated, removes the NBA's rationale for those concessions. "I think it's a pretty good bet, based on both of those things," that the players will opt out, Michele Roberts, the union's new executive director, told Bleacher Report in a recent interview. She added, "It would be silly for anyone to assume" otherwise. Bleacher Report

Roberts made that prediction before the new TV deal was completed, but both sides have long known that the huge revenue spike was coming and that it would prompt a reassessment of the labor deal. Indeed, Roberts said, "The minute I was told I was selected to be the executive director (in July), I started preparing for the opt-out." Bleacher Report

October 6, 2014 Updates
September 27, 2014 Updates
September 26, 2014 Updates

Rick Bonnell: Players union issues statement on Jeff Taylor situation: Says fine for him to be away from team if no "disciplinary" action taken. That sounds like union expects Hornets to continue paying Taylor's salary. I'm told Hornets already planned to do so. Twitter @rick_bonnell

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