Sources told TMZ the newly elected NBPA president has spoken with fellow players and taken aim at a number of different issues.
Paul's agenda reportedly includes:
- Preparing to fight any league proposal for HGH testing
- Eliminating flopping fines
- Forbidding any dress code additions/changes
The NBA has yet to attempt an armed assault on HGH testing the way other leagues, such as MLB, have. Imposing the players' will upon any new policies that may be proposed certainly won't be easy, but it won't be as difficult as impacting current procedures.
Battling the league's stance on flopping figures to be the most difficult item on Paul's list.
Last season, the NBA cracked down on floppers by issuing warnings and not-so-hefty fines to those caught in the act. Five players were fined $5,000 during the regular season, with many more incurring such penalties in the playoffs.
Previously, commissioner David Stern had indicated the Association not only stood by its flopping policies, but planned to expand on them.
"It isn't enough, it isn't enough," Stern said in his annual pre-NBA Finals news conference, as quoted by ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst. "You're not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player's salary is $5.5 million. And anyone who thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason."
Paul himself is a noted flopper, so it will be interesting to see how he and the players approach what has become a sensitive topic.
Forbidding any changes to the league's current dress code isn't going to be a cakewalk, either. Littered throughout last season were instances in which the NBA threw the fashion book at its players. On one such occasion, Joakim Noah was forced to leave the Chicago Bulls' bench because he was wearing a sweater instead of a suit jacket.
Stern and the league have gone to great lengths to ensure the players abide by any and all established rules. Though he plans to retire in February, the NBPA will still have to butt heads with his protege, Adam Silver, if it wishes to spark change.
Regardless of whether he is against Stern or Silver, Paul has his work cut out for him. Challenging the league on issues it feels strongly about will take plenty of resolve, so hopefully Paul's will (and patience) runs as deep as his present ambitions.
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