Free-agent guard Roger Mason Jr. will likely be named the new president of the National Basketball Players Association on Wednesday, according to Howard Beck of The New York Times. Mason, who has served four years as a vice president, is the lone candidate announced for the position and is expected to run unopposed.
If Mason lands the job, he will take over a union that has dealt with a host of issues over the course of the past year. Longtime executive director Billy Hunter was fired in February over charges of nepotism and abuse of union funds. He has since sued for wrongful termination, alleging that current president Derek Fisher conspired with NBA officials during the 2011 lockout.
Once Mason is elected as expected, he will oversee the hiring of a new executive director to replace Hunter. The NBPA plans to hire a search firm this week, and the goal is to have a new executive director chosen by the next union meeting in February. Former Madison Square Garden executive Steve Mills is considered to be the favorite for the job.
The lack of an executive director has stalled discussions on certain league initiatives that NBA commissioner David Stern wants to move forward with, including testing for human growth hormone.
Mason knows there's a lot that will go into getting the NBPA back on track, which is likely one of the reasons why LeBron James withdrew his name from the running after flirting with the idea of becoming union president:
"The task at hand is pretty great," Mason said in a telephone interview. "And I can appreciate how much time and energy needs to go into this type of commitment, just from my involvement. There may be other guys that understand that and that want to run, and that's their right."