NBA Players Union Director Michele Roberts Isn’t To be Played With


NBA Players Union Executive Director Michele Roberts has the task of being one of the only women in the male dominated world of the NBA. Obviously the players are male, but so are the majority of NBA Execs, owners and agents that Ms. Roberts will have to deal with heading up the union.

With some sort of lock out inevitable in 2017, does the thought of being the only woman in the room intimidate Roberts? Apparently, not at all. In a recent New York Times piece, Roberts had this to say.

“My past,” she told the room, “is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.”

On the subject of her predecessor, Billy Hunter, Roberts plans to completely switch up the way the union operates. Doubling staff size, with the goal to bring more expertise to the organization.

“It was clearly run by Hunter without much input from other people,” she said during a long interview at her office in Washington. “It’s completely inconsistent with the way any entity, let alone any union, should be run.”

Roberts career started off as a public defender, later moving to a private firm specializing in the defense of violent criminals. In 2001 she moved into white-collar litigation.

The players are watching the owners collecting major money. In 2011, the players agreed to drop down to 50% of basketball related income, from a previous 57%. At the same time, the value for franchises has jumped and TV rights money is huge. The players won’t be able to get more of the BRI but I’m sure the union will be seeking a bigger cut of those new TV rights deals.