Between an ugly ouster of former executive Billy Hunter and the end of Derek Fisher's role as president, James believes it's important to fight for his fellow players with so much turnover in the union. There hasn't been much stability in the 2013 calendar year and that's after the union made concessions in the 2011 lockout that gave more power to league owners.
"I just think the union is going backwards, and it's not in a good place right now,"James said. "I think my voice could be huge in that situation.
"If it's not me in that seat then I hope it's someone who is comfortable with it and can do the job."
Especially with important issues on deck, James's role could be paramount, and he would be the most high-profile president since Patrick Ewing served as president 15 years ago.
Ron Klempner, formerly an NBPA attorney, is serving as interim executive director after the union voted Hunter out of office earlier this year. While he maintains the union is running smoothly as a committee looks for a permanent executive director -- and as the union searches to replace Fisher -- NBA commissioner David Stern doesn't see it that way.
Stern believes the union's situation isn't good for coming to terms with the league on impending human growth hormone testing that the commissioner hopes to implement within the next year.
The NBPA is also looking for an arbitrator to flesh out more player-friendly flopping rules with the league, CBS Sports reported in July.