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Michele Roberts: The Executive Director of the NBPA

Michele Roberts, the Executive Director

The NBA ad NBPA just reached another agreement in regards to the 2020-2021 NBA season. The expected date for free agency to start is November 20, two days after the draft. This is another step for the planning of the NBA 2020-2021 season. Chris Paul is the player leading the union through this unique situation but there is someone else to thank. Michele Roberts, who is the executive director of the NBPA, has been included in these decisions.

Background on Roberts

Michele Roberts, the Executive Director
Courtesy of nbpa.com

Before being elected to the NBPA, Roberts was an attorney at Skadden, Arps. The players union first elected Roberts in 2014. This marked the first female executive director in all four major sports leagues. As director, her duties include directing the union’s day-to-day activity, as well as negotiating collective bargaining agreements. The union reelected Roberts for the director position because of her success in the first term.

Roberts and the NBA Working Together

Like everything else in 2020, sports leagues had to take a different approach to their seasons amid Covid-19. Roberts was ready to retire from her position before the Covid pandemic rocked the United States. Once the virus hit she was pulled right back to the NBPA. Roberts worked alongside of Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, to get the NBA back safely. As we saw, the NBA Bubble was a huge success and a great plan that Roberts helped organize. Currently, Roberts is helping the NBPA negotiate the start of the 2020-2021 season. Roberts is helping the players association ensure that the players are getting the deal that they deserve for playing during the pandemic.

An Icon for All

Roberts is one of the women who have paved the way for women in the sports industry. With no previous sports experience, besides personal enjoyment, Roberts came into the position at the NBPA with authority. Her job is to make sure the union runs smoothly and the players are getting fairly compensated for their talent. While this is not an easy job, Roberts has done the work successfully, enough to be reelected. Roberts’ commitment to her work is something that many people should admire. When the NBA needed help because of the pandemic, Roberts stepped back in to help, despite publicly announcing she was aiming to retire. Roberts also was able to lock the NBA into a collective bargaining agreement that was through 2023-2024 and a media deal through 2024-2025.

Through her bargaining, Roberts also makes sure that the players have a platform for any social justice issues they wish to discuss or promote. Roberts is dedicated to her role as the executive director and continues to ensure the well-being of the union. The role of executive director for the NBPA now has high expectations because of Roberts. Hopefully, Roberts will help the NBA get the season rolling then will eventually be able to enjoy her retirement.

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