Miami Heat forward LeBron James decided not to run for president or vice president of the NBA Players Association after thoroughly considering and researching the possibility, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports. The four-time MVP notified teammate and NBPA secretary-treasurer James Jones of the decision Monday.
As influential a player as LeBron is, the league's best player apparently felt uncomfortable with the added responsibilities of a significant executive position in the NBPA. It seemed genuinely possible that James would want to add to his legacy by helping the player's union, but apparently not at the expense of his playing career.
Zillgitt says James discussed his options with several people, but "realized he didn't want to commit to something he couldn't focus on 100 percent, especially at such a critical time for the union."
With longtime executive director Billy Hunter out after a tumultuous ending to his tenure, the player's union badly needs to regroup in the coming years. Having a player as powerful as LeBron at the bargaining table appealed to union leadership, but he doesn't want to become distracted from his on-court pursuits while filling his duties.
NBPA members plan to meet next week in Las Vegas to vote on the future of current president Derek Fisher, who will likely be on his way out. With James out of the picture, executive committee vice president Roger Mason Jr. could be a prime candidate to replace Fisher.