Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been elected as the president of the NBA Players Association, the union announced via Twitter. The NBPA tweeted that Roger Mason Jr., who was also interested in the top position, has been named first vice president.
Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal first reported the surprising announcement via Twitter. The union was expected to announce their decision tonight according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, who tabbed Mason as Derek Fisher's probable successor. Mason announced his candidacy last week.
Paul, previously a union vice president, will be the first star player to head the players' union since Patrick Ewing, who held the position from 1997 to 2001, and the first "in-his-prime" president since fellow point guard Isiah Thomas. As LeBron James indicated when he was considering the position, a player of his or Paul's caliber would likely have a louder voice as president than their predecessors — something the union sorely needs after being shrouded in controversy in the late stages of Fisher's reign. Fisher served as the union's president until his term expired this summer. He was preceded by Antonio Davis and Michael Curry, who, like Fisher, were also role players. James decided he would not pursue the presidency early last week.
The union also tweeted that it will add Steve Blake and Anthony Tolliver as vice presidents and executive committee members. As USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt reports (via Twitter), Jerry Stackhouse has resigned as first vice president and will accept some sort of special advisory role within the NBPA. The league will also hire an executive director in the near future to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted earlier this year. With Paul and a new executive director in place, it could be an interesting first year for commissioner Adam Silver.