Michele Roberts Rumors
Michele Roberts: I always say this to young people, especially young people of color: there are certain things you cannot change and don’t want to change. I can’t change the fact that I’m an African American woman, and as it turns out, I happen to like being an African American woman. If that’s the case, and it is, why in the world would I spend time agonizing over that? It took me a while because I grew up around no white people except my teachers, and then I was 13 and thrust into an environment where there were all white people. And this was back in the late ’60s, early ’70s, and even though that’s not that long ago, it’s still long enough for people to have been pretty stupid and do pretty stupid things. Most of the people I interacted with were perfectly fine, but there were a number of them that were not. And so, I did end up having a bit of a chip on my shoulder, and I did it for purposes of self-protection. I was a kid, I was by myself, I didn’t have anyone that could help me navigate those waters, and so I became very self-conscious and distrustful. When I got older and I became more confident, I decided I was not going to go into rooms counting the number of black people on my hand or noting the fact that there was no one there that looked like me, and worry that people were going to think that I was stupid or think that I was not as bright as they were. And so I tell people, I’m not going to spend the time worried about those issues.
Roberts got the job. Paul calls the hire the most significant thing the NBPA has done on his watch. “At first there was a little bit of, um, hesitancy to elect a woman,” Pistons forward and union VP Anthony Tolliver says. “Not because we’re sexist, but we just weren’t quite sure how our guys were going to react to that. But Chris was adamant. He thought she’d be the best leader. By the end of the process, every single guy on our committee thought she was the best candidate. Chris said that from the beginning. We ended up following his lead.”
Ric Bucher: If [Jeff] Weschler, as sources indicate, does takes [Harrison] Barnes to court, then the Players Union and its new head, Michele Roberts, is going to have to weigh in and basically pick a side between Barnes and Weschler. Why is that a problem? Well, in the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations it’s going to be vital for the players, not for them just to be connected, but to have their agents on board on what are they doing as well.
The union representing National Basketball Association players has signed a contract to sell its Harlem headquarters for $21 million, about six times what the organization paid for the building at Lenox Avenue and 125th Street. Once the sale is completed next year, the organization will relocate to a 47,000-square-foot facility in midtown Manhattan that includes a practice court, locker room, lounge and training facility, the union said. The facility will also be used to host player programs and agent seminars. The union bought the Harlem building at 310 Lenox around 2007, at which time its value was listed as $3.4 million in a filing with the U.S. Department of Labor. The union’s 2014 labor filing, or LM-2, said the building was worth $19.7 million.
The union’s new headquarters, which Executive Director Michele Roberts has called a “Players Campus,” will be located at 1133 Avenue of the Americas, between 43rd and 44th Streets and near Bryant Park. The union declined to say how much it’s paying to lease the space.