Michele Roberts Rumors
Paul was fully engaged, calling up or emailing NBPA executive director Michele Roberts to share his ideas and concerns, exchanging strategies via text with his right-hand man, James Jones, and reaching out to players to make sure that their input was heard and expressed in meetings with NBA owners. “With all of the stuff on his plate, I really didn’t have much of an expectation that he was going to be able to be available,” Roberts recently told The Vertical. “I would say, ‘Guys, give me an hour and I promise I won’t bug you for a week.’ And his thing was, ‘No. Don’t worry about that, Michele. You just tell us what you need from us and we’ll be there.’ Chris was just remarkably available. It would have been perfectly within his rights to say, ‘Look, I ain’t getting paid for this. Let’s keep it to a minimum.’ But he was always there when I needed him. If I said it was critical that I reach you today, it was done.”
When he sat for negotiations of the previous agreement, Paul witnessed an ugly, contentious tussle with the owners and within union ranks that eventually left the players association in shambles. Paul wasn’t considering the presidency when he attended the union’s meeting in Las Vegas in 2013, but Jerry Stackhouse was among the many players who encouraged him to accept the role. After a final nudge from Jada, Paul reluctantly obliged but immediately regretted his decision. The union had no executive director, Silver was getting prepared to replace David Stern as commissioner, and the league appeared destined for more labor strife. Paul also didn’t think he could make the necessary commitment to clean up such a mess. An uncomfortable flight home to Winston-Salem, N.C., made him even more unsettled upon landing. “I was having almost an anxiety attack, because I was like, ‘I don’t have time for this or that,’ ” Paul told The Vertical. “And I woke up the next morning, saying, ‘I’m going to call and tell them, ‘I can’t do this.’ Knowing the state of the union at the time, it was a tall order.”
Speaking at his annual state-of-the-NBA address on the eve of Sunday’s All-Star Game, Silver was asked about the age minimum and if it’s an issue that doesn’t need a collective bargaining agreement negotiation to revisit. “Well, first of all, we absolutely need the union in order to revisit the age,” Silver said. “The current age minimum of 19 years old, but something Michele and I discussed directly — and this is different than last time we negotiated a Collective Bargaining Agreement — is that rather than say to you that talk to us in seven years when we sit back down to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, I think she and I both agree that it’s the kind of issue that needs to be studied, in essence, outside of the bright lights of collective bargaining.”
During the annual All-Star meeting of the Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association on Friday, six-time All-Star Pau Gasol of the San Antonio Spurs was elected to serve on the union’s Executive Committee. “With the number of international players in our game continuing to grow, it’s very important for us to make sure that their interests are represented on our Executive Committee,” said Executive Director Michele Roberts. “Given his background and incredible accomplishments throughout his career both in the NBA and around the world, Pau will bring a unique perspective to our organization and we’re thrilled to welcome him.”
“With the number of international players in our game continuing to grow, it’s very important for us to make sure that their interests are represented on our Executive Committee,” said Executive Director Michele Roberts. “Given his background and incredible accomplishments throughout his career both in the NBA and around the world, Pau will bring a unique perspective to our organization and we’re thrilled to welcome him.”
Michele Roberts: It’s the same thing with any negotiation — you need to understand what the person on the other side of the V needs to get done, can’t do, probably will. And as long as that person on the other side of the V is a) relatively intelligent, b) honest, which I think is probably key, and c) is equally willing to appreciate what you have to be mindful of, then you can get things done. I found Adam to be honest, and that was, as I said, the key to me. I suggested, as we got to know each other, I made a promise to him that I would never lie to him, and if I did, he probably would know that I was lying to him. And I asked him to do the same. We were able to operate from a position of respect, and I think our teams did the same. Just don’t hide anything, don’t alter the truth, tell me what you really think, and I’ll tell you what I really think, and let’s see if we can find some common ground. They had a good team. They’re pretty sharp over there. And we’re pretty good, too.