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Chris Paul Addresses Union Criticisms

Following agent Jeff Schwartz’s op-ed criticising the union’s lack of transparency in selecting its next executive director, union president Chris Paul has responded with an op-ed of his own at ESPN. The whole piece is worth a read, but here are some of the highlights:

On changes already in progress to make the union more transparent: 

“Working with our Acting Executive Director Ron Klempner, we’ve spent the past year reviewing and reforming the core policy infrastructure of our union, creating an organization that is strong, strategic, transparent and absolutely accountable to our players.”

On where the union is in the selection process:

“In an effort to conduct a thorough and professional search, we partnered with outside consultants to identify over 200 professionals from the worlds of sports, law, labor and business who might be qualified to lead our union. Our Executive Committee has devoted the time, resources and energy necessary to narrow down this quality pool of potential candidates. During our All-Star Weekend Winter Meeting, we devoted virtually all of our time together to discussing the process that we’ve engaged in, and the procedures for considering and voting on our next Executive Director. We also heard from our leading candidates for the position to date, and players attending were able to take their measure.”

On the criticism the union has received:

“I’ve been encouraged by the passionate interest in the outcome of these deliberations — player agents, corporate sponsors, team owners, sports journalists and NBA fans. And while some of these interests have been critical or skeptical of the very deliberate steps we’ve been taking in this process, it’s a testament to the commitment and passion we all have to protect our players and ultimately the game we all love so much. But make no mistake, the decision about our next Executive Director will be made by NBA players, in a process that has been and will continue to be open, transparent, painstaking and professional.”

On why the process has taken so long:

“One of our greatest challenges as an organized group of players is managing the logistics that require us to be constantly moving throughout the country. However, we’re in the last stages of implementing a plan that will allow every player to consider the candidates, discuss their merits with teammates and fellow union members and very soon, vote on new leadership for the NBPA. The process has taken time, but we know it has been time well spent.”

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