Report: NBPA Suspends Search for Michele Roberts' Successor Due to COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2020

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 6: NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts speaks to the crowd as she takes part in the 2019 NBA Finals Cares Legacy Project as part of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 6, 2019 at the Ira Jinkins Recreation Center in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The National Basketball Players Association has reportedly suspended its search for a successor to executive director Michele Roberts temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the NBPA has decided to put the search on hold until there is "more certainty" regarding the future of the NBA.

Roberts still has two years remaining on her contract, but she has said that she is in the midst of her final four-year term, which is why a search began in March.

Per Haynes, Roberts has "unwavering support," and the primary focus currently is on figuring out a way to resume the 2019-20 season, while also addressing any issues that could come along with it, including player compensation.

Haynes noted that a search firm had been hired to look for Roberts' successor, and Detroit Pistons assistant general manager Pat Garrity was among those who were interviewed. As of now, there is no timetable to find Roberts' replacement.

The 64-year-old Roberts has been the NBPA's executive director since 2014, which is when she took over for Billy Hunter.

Roberts earned her law degree at Cal Berkeley in 1980 and went on to enjoy a successful career as an attorney. In addition to her role with the NBPA, she is an adjunct staff member at Harvard Law School.

The NBA has yet to make an official announcement regarding a concrete plan to return to play, but the first steps have been taken in the form of several teams opening up their facilities so that players can work out under social distancing guidelines.

The 2019-20 NBA season was suspended in March after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, there were well over 200 regular-season games left to be played before the playoffs.

Roberts could have a big job ahead of her if and when a decision is made to resume the season if Major League Baseball is any indication since the players have reportedly been resistant to a proposed 50-50 revenue split.

The NBA is different since there is a salary cap and revenue split already in place, but the players will undoubtedly need a strong negotiator in their corner to ensure that the conditions financially and otherwise make sense from their perspective.