Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Roundtable: Would LeBron James Be A Good NBA Players Association President?

LeBron James is the best player in the world, but would he be a good NBA Players Association President? (

BDD's Friday Roundtable is a weekly discussion among a group of our writers on a trending NBA or college basketball topic.

This week's question: LeBron James is considering running for NBA Players Association President. Would LeBron be a good president?

LeBron could be a capable president, given his ability to sway other players' decisions in free agency and reigning best-player-alive status, although I'd be wary of an attempt to turn the NBAPA into an actual King James monarchy. With Maverick Carter in his cabinet, there could certainly be some less than honest behind-the-scenes machinations. My one true hope is that LeBron's Heat teammate Mario Chalmers is brought into the president's inner circle, if for no other reason than to hear he was yelled at during an official meeting.


LeBron as president is an interesting idea, but would he be able to focus on the job? I have no doubt LeBron could do great given a 48-hour day, but being the biggest superstar in the NBA brings a lot of distractions off the court. Not to mention he still had to go through an 82 game NBA season.

With LeBron being on the top, would he be able to represent the majority of NBA players? Players who are making four or five million a year and fighting for a roster spot?

I think it’s great that LeBron wants to get involved, but with all the distractions going on around him I’m not sure he could give his full attention to the union.  Perhaps he’s better suited for the executive committee.

LeBron wouldn't be the first great player to serve as president of the NBPA. Bob Cousey, Oscar Robertson, Isiah Thomas and Patrick Ewing have all served the role. But never before has the majority-recognized best player in the world held the position. Michael Jordan never did. Neither did Wilt or Kareem. James has already gotten his feet wet, sitting in on bargaining sessions during the 2011 lockout. The question is would he have enough time, while also shooting $10 million spots for Nike, Beats by Dre and the next company that comes after him for an endorsement. Although he could find a way to kill two birds with one stone, shooting a new commercial for Nike telling owners to "Just do it" when discussing business, or respond to every negotiation question with "Is it in you?" to make the people at Gatorade happy.

What James would have going for him is respect. He's the best player in the game, and has been in the league long enough to know how it works. He also has a personality where he wants to befriend other players and make everyone happy. He's not in it just for himself. Other players would have to think of that as a positive, that James will do what is best for everyone. Michael Jordan would have just done whatever the hell he wanted because he was Michael F'n Jordan and "you can't voice your opinion, Bryon Russell, because I dropped 30 on you last year!" That attitude got him six rings and a spot on the best player ever discussion, but players probably wouldn't feel like he would be a representative for them all. We haven't seen enough of LeBron in that setting to know whether he would succeed (really, how badly could he screw it up?) but it doesn't seem like he would fail miserably. One guy who probably is hoping James doesn't get the job? Mario Chalmers if he turns the ball over a lot this season. 

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