HoopsHype Michele Roberts rumors

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
September 24, 2014 Updates

Michele Roberts will be paid a base salary of $1.2 million as director of the union that represents National Basketball Association players, less than half of what her fired predecessor was earning. Roberts, 58, the first woman to lead a major U.S. sports union, said in a telephone interview that her base salary can be bolstered by annual $600,000 bonuses over the life of the four-year contract. The bonus is at the discretion of the union’s nine-member executive committee, which is led by President Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. Bloomberg

“My first goal is to establish credibility with the players. I trust that they have some concerns about whether or not they are in for another round of bad management,” Roberts told the Daily News on Monday, her first official day on the job. “And the answer to that is, ‘Absolutely not.’ But the only way I can make that case is to meet them, make some promises and have them hold me accountable to those promises. My first goal is to go out and meet them so I’ll be doing a lot of traveling. “I’m sure there are people thinking, ‘Ahh, another politician-like person coming in trying to sell us a bunch of bull.’ And that’s my job to win them over, to tell them, ‘No, this time it will be different or fire me. I want you to if I even dare replicate my predecessor.’” New York Daily News

September 22, 2014 Updates

Former executive director Charles Grantham said it will be significant responsibility for the neophyte executive director. “The biggest challenge for [the NBPA] is the [potential] lockout,” said Grantham, who teaches at New York University and Seton Hall. “The question is for the last three times, there has been probably 15 or 16 givebacks or concessions that [the players’ union] made over this period of time that puts them at the bottom. “It starts with preparation and being prepared for this thing [a lockout] that we all know is coming. After three successive collective bargaining negotiations from management side, all that began with the [1998] lockout and put the union in a concessionary bargaining position. The day is gone when you used to be able to tell players to save money. You can’t do that.” Boston Globe

September 21, 2014 Updates

Former executive director Charles Grantham said it will be significant responsibility for the neophyte executive director. “The biggest challenge for [the NBPA] is the [potential] lockout,” said Grantham, who teaches at New York University and Seton Hall. “The question is for the last three times, there has been probably 15 or 16 givebacks or concessions that [the players’ union] made over this period of time that puts them at the bottom. “It starts with preparation and being prepared for this thing [a lockout] that we all know is coming. After three successive collective bargaining negotiations from management side, all that began with the [1998] lockout and put the union in a concessionary bargaining position. The day is gone when you used to be able to tell players to save money. You can’t do that.” Boston Globe

“One, the first challenge is again to get back to the concept that it’s got to be an institutional response — how does the institution create the protection for the players?” he said. “[Roberts’s] challenge is to rally the troops and unite the troops and get them into a position of understanding the business side of the sport, which is always the most difficult part because our players are very active playing in their careers and if they’re asked to do two things at once . . . [and] we expect that they know everything else about the collective bargaining agreement. “That road to having a four- or five-year NBA experience is a difficult one and we keep forgetting it’s in a fish bowl and they’re 19, 20, 21 [years old]. They are growing in front of our eyes but we expect them to make mature decisions. That’s the challenge, not to follow them but to lead them.” Boston Globe

September 10, 2014 Updates

Meanwhile, Roberts hasn't been able to start her new job yet because of obligations in her prior job and ongoing contract negotiations with union officials to formalize her deal. But the new challenge should finally be hers soon enough. According to a memo written by NBPA Secretary Treasurer/Cleveland Cavaliers guard James Jones and obtained by USA TODAY Sports, Roberts is slated to officially begin at the end of the month. Her contract, which will pay her $1.2 million annually over four years and could include an annual performance bonus of up to 50%, has already been approved by the NBPA's Executive Committee but must still be approved by player representatives from teams. USA Today Sports

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