The NBA Players Union didn’t make the splash they wanted to make by hiring LeBron James to oversee their collective bargaining future, but they made the right decision in hiring Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul as their new Union President.
Yes, LeBron is the NBA best player and is the most marketable, but he doesn’t understand or have the time for Union business like Paul has. Paul has served as NBPA Vice President and now steps into a leadership role as the Union has had to deal with recent turmoil.
Recently replaced President Derek Fisher, whose time as head is clouded by the lawsuit ex-executive director Billy Hunter has against the Union, didn’t leave the office to be in reverence of the players. As recently as last week, the Miami Heat superstar, who took his name out of the running, described the Players association to be “going backward.”
Paul represents the brand new start the Union was trying to attain when it hired its next player president. He is a player who is highly respected around the league, and his voice would represent a calming one to incoming NBA Commissioner David Silver. There is no player around the league more revered for his leadership abilities than Paul, and now he brings them to fight for all players’ rights.
You could say that this was just a high-profile hire by the NBA Players Association, who were left destitute after the public fallout between Fisher and Hunter. That would be dismissing Paul’s natural gifts as a leader and his quiet but booming presence. The union was looking for a single, but hit a home run with this appointment.