Now that LeBron James has abruptly doubled back on his stated interest in becoming the next president of the National Basketball Players Association, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, it looks like the race to replace Derek Fisher (whose term expired this summer) as the figurehead of the NBPA is wide open.
Current vice presidents Jerry Stackhouse and Roger Mason Jr. are both in the running.
And as much fun as it would be to suggest Metta World Peace or Andray Blatche as the next president, it's probably a better idea to take a more serious look at potential candidates for the gig.
It's difficult to overstate the importance of the NBPA's next president. Fisher was widely respected before the 2011 lockout, but after the owners basically ran over the players in negotiations, his exit from the position is something few of his peers are lamenting. Whoever takes charge will have to do a much better job of presenting an organized front against the increasingly powerful owners.
Intelligence, leaguewide respect and a track record of involvement in union activities are all important characteristics that should factor into who winds up taking over.
The Players Association also needs a new executive director to succeed the disgraced Billy Hunter, so whichever candidate wins the presidency will step into a pretty messy situation.
It's going to be a tough job, but a few guys seem like they're up for the challenge.