HoopsHype Michele Roberts rumors

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February 25, 2015 Updates

Although Durant would later say he just "had a moment," his words raised some questions about media availability and the commitment players have made, especially in the locker room before and after games. "Most of the time I go to the locker room, the players are there and there are like eight or nine reporters just standing there, just staring at them," Roberts said. "And I think to myself, 'OK, so this is media availability?' If you don't have a f---ing question, leave, because it's an incredible invasion of privacy. It's a tremendous commitment that we've made to the media -- are there ways we can tone it down? Of course. It's very dangerous to suggest any limitation on media's access to players, but let's be real about some of this stuff. "I've asked about a couple of these guys, 'Does he ask you a question?' 'Nah, he just stands there.' And when I go in there to talk to the guys, I see them trying to listen to my conversation, and I don't think that's the point of media availability. If nothing else, I would like to have a rule imposed, 'If you have a question, ask it; if you don't, leave.' Sometimes, they're waiting for the marquee players. I get that, but there is so much standing around." ESPN.com

What about the length of the season -- is 82 games too many? "The schedule is ridiculous. Now I know that decreasing the number of games decreases potential revenue, but if, at the end of the day, players are too tired or too injured to play, how does that affect the game?" (Bass said the NBA has no plans to shorten the season and that it has responded to wear-and-tear issues by lengthening the All-Star break and has made it a priority to dramatically reduce back-to-back games, as well as four games in five nights.) ESPN.com

February 15, 2015 Updates

The Roberts-Silver relationship has, of course, just gotten underway — Roberts was only hired over the summer, and Silver took over for Stern a year ago. They’ll keep talking about some mechanism that can reduce the shock to the NBA’s system as the new money comes in, but it’s difficult to see a compromise there. “I haven’t had a chance to negotiate with the unions directly since they had that meeting (Friday) night,” Silver said. “My sense is there will be additional discussions, but ultimately that is what our system is under the current collective bargaining agreement. It’s like a lot of things in business and in sports, you deal with the situation as it is presented to you. I don’t want to act like it is a terrible problem to have — we’re thrilled that based on the interest in the NBA, we are able to command these big increases in the television market.” Sporting News

What if the Knicks suddenly had the opportunity to sign up two max-contract players? Or if the Lakers could sign three? Or if the already-stocked Bulls could add another All-Star? Where does that leave, say, Milwaukee or Minnesota or New Orleans? “It’s what our system is,” Silver said on Saturday. “The players receive, on a sliding scale, it ranges from 49 to 51 percent, and because of the revenue targets we hit, the players will receive 51 percent of the new television money. At the time we were negotiating the deal, we were not projecting that our television increases would be as large as they are. … (Smoothing) is something we presented to the union, ultimately it is up to them to decide what is in the interest of the players association. I have a feeling there will be additional discussions.” Sporting News

February 14, 2015 Updates

The key meeting took place late last year in Cleveland. Roberts met with James, introduced him to her growing executive staff and explained her vision of the union. Also in the meeting were some of James' closest NBA friends: James Jones, a NBPA executive committee member who played with James in Miami and now is his teammate in Cleveland, and Roger Mason Jr., who was an executive committee member and is deputy executive director of player relations for the NBPA. Roberts left that meeting with the understanding that James is a union person, not just in the sense of the NBPA but for unions in general. James has a comfort level with Roberts and a long friendship with NBPA president Chris Paul, who urged James to take a prominent role with union. That will be important after James was elected first vice president of the NBPA in New York on Friday. USA Today Sports

The National Basketball Players Association on Saturday rejected the NBA's proposal for "smoothing in" billions of dollars from the new TV/media deal into the salary cap. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said the union hired two forensic economic teams to evaluate the league's proposal and both economic teams recommended the union not accept the league's proposal. USA Today Sports

Regardless, players will still get 51% of basketball-related income (BRI). Under the CBA, when player salaries don't reach 51%, the league cuts a check to players for the difference. The union is opposed to artificially suppressing the salary cap, but it appeared Roberts is willing to read other proposals. USA Today Sports

February 13, 2015 Updates

Ken Berger: Roberts says the board of player reps voted unanimously to reject the NBA's "smoothing" proposal for increase in TV revenues. The NBA had proposed that the dramatic increase in TV revenues coming in 2016 be gradually incorporated into the salary cap. Twitter @KBergCBS

Tim Bontemps: Roberts says there could be a counter proposal, but the union hasn't had a chance to decide whether it will produce one. Roberts says that advancing the new TV money in ahead of time is not something that has been proposed by the league at this time. Twitter @TimBontemps

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

February 7, 2015 Updates

The NBA on Saturday fined Paul $25,000 for "public criticism of officiating." "Any suggestion that Chris Paul would ever conduct himself in a disrespectful manner towards women is utterly ridiculous, outrageous and patently false," Roberts, who was elected to her position in late July, said in a statement. "His personal management team, which includes several accomplished women who play a major role in virtually all of his business affairs is, alone, evidence of that fact. USA Today Sports

"The Players Association is a strong Exhibit B. Anyone paying attention is aware that Chris and his Executive Committee colleagues were instrumental in making me the first woman Executive Director of a major men's professional sports union. Further, Chris and the Committee were nothing but wholly supportive of my recent hire of Chrysa Chin — a woman — as the NBPA's first ever Executive Vice President of Strategy and Development. Without hesitation, the Players Association stands firmly behind Chris, whose competitiveness may only be exceeded by the strength of his values and his convictions." USA Today Sports

Chris Paul made it clear: His problem with referee Lauren Holtkamp was with her call. He left it to others to say it wasn't about her gender. His criticism of the rookie official drew a rebuke from the referees union yesterday followed by strong backing from the female executive director of the NBA Players Association. "Any suggestion that Chris Paul would ever conduct himself in a disrespectful manner towards women is utterly ridiculous, outrageous and patently false," Michele Roberts said in a statement, noting Paul's role in making her the first woman to head a North American major sports union last summer. Philadelphia Inquirer

February 6, 2015 Updates
November 30, 2014 Updates

“I’m adamantly opposed to [raising the age minimum],” Roberts said. “I’ve been practicing law for 30 years. One of the beauties of being in that job is that I can practice until I lose my mind or die. That is not the case with athletes. You have a limited life to make money as a basketball player. Anything that limits those opportunities is distressing to me. I view [the age minimum] as just another device that serves to limit a players' ability to make a living.” Sports Illustrated

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