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LeBron James Elected Vice President of NBPA

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2015

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LeBron James has been the NBA's biggest star and spokesman for a few years now, so it's only fitting he would hold one of the top positions within the National Basketball Players Association. 

Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report confirmed the news via an announcement from NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts:

Ethan J. Skolnick @EthanJSkolnick

Michele Roberts: "We have a new Vice President who was elected unanimously, and his name is LeBron James."

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports first reported that James had been voted the first vice president of the Players Association.

Wojnarowski also added that the move signals a huge shift in James' role behind the scenes for the union with President Chris Paul:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

This moves James into senior leadership of the Players Association. Voting is underway at this hour in an NBPA meeting in New York.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

NBPA president Chris Paul had been pushing LeBron James to join him in No. 2 spot in union, sources tell Yahoo. Significant 1-2 punch.

Along with Paul, James will also be working with Roberts, who was named executive director of the NBPA in 2014. 

Roberts also announced that Domonique Foxworth was named the new NBPA chief operating officer, per CBS Sports' Ken Berger. Tim Bontemps of the New York Post also noted that Carmelo Anthony has expressed interest in joining the leadership team in the future.

NEW YORK, NY - December 4: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defends the ball against Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks during the game on December 4, 2014 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

There were rumblings in 2014 that James was considering a run for NBPA president. In a summer 2014 article by Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports, a source with ties to James said the superstar was looking into making a run:

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It's something he has talked about with a small group of people. He was very vocal at the meeting during the All-Star Weekend about the need for the union to dramatically change. There is a new executive director coming in and new commissioner. He recognizes that this is the time for the union to change.

It was also evident that James felt something needed to change between the owners and players based on these comments in October, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Dave McMenamin @mcten

LeBron said there is "no way" owners can cry poor in the next CBA negotiations, not "after we continue to see teams selling for billions"

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Just like a new TV deal was negotiated years ahead of time, LeBron wants to work on new CBA now: "We would love to do it sooner than later"

Even though the NBA's current collective bargaining agreement doesn't expire until at least 2017, at which point the league and players have the ability to opt out, it's clear by James' comments that any negotiations will not be easy. 

Considering the power that players already have in the NBA, James' election is historic. Not only does it give the union its first vice president, but now the league's biggest star is officially in a prominent position when it comes to labor negotiations. 

There have been issues between the owners and players recently, most notably the 2011 lockout that resulted in a shortened season. Even though things were eventually resolved, it is clear that James doesn't see equity between the players and owners, as the latter benefit more from the skyrocketing value of teams and television revenue. 

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