Michele Roberts Rumors
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.
MR: We had, internally, calls and memos with our guys to make sure we understood what they wanted and for them to make sure they understood the league’s position, and sort of the historical issues. There were insights that they brought to the discussions that, frankly, I couldn’t, because I’ve been a fan for the last 50 years. They’ve been playing for 10, 12. It would have been a different negotiation, I’m confident, if we hadn’t taken in what the players had to say, or taken advantage of the contributions they could make. They were fabulous, fabulous — up until the very last second when we said we have a deal, I was on the phone with Chris, [James Jones], ‘Melo, thank goodness, was in New York, LeBron was weighing in. I know every single member of the Executive Committee was involved — including Stevie Blake, until he left the game.
Me: Was it at all odd seeing Jordan sitting there, representing the owners’ position? MR: I thought it was fabulous. One of the things — it was clear — was that he was the one person in the room that could see both sides. And I think everybody was mindful of that. So when Michael spoke, everybody really listened. Because he just had the benefit of being both a player and now an owner. I was absolutely enamored with the fact that he was there. Because he brought with him a certain amount of credibility that I could both respect and the players could respect. I don’t know why he became a member of the Negotiating Committee, but it was a good move.