Union suspends search for Michele Roberts’ successor

The National Basketball Players Association has temporarily suspended its search for a successor to executive director Michele Roberts until there is more certainty on the future of the NBA season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

With the union in good hands, Roberts, who has two years remaining on her contract, will continue to lead the NBPA through the coronavirus crisis, which caused the NBA to suspend the season on March 11. Critical decisions and negotiations lie ahead that could drastically affect the players’ earnings in the next CBA in the wake of the pandemic.

Roberts has the players’ unwavering support, sources said.

Michele Roberts speaks at the Women in Leadership panel at the espnW Summit in 2018. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)


The union had spent the last few weeks interviewing candidates, with Detroit Pistons assistant GM Pat Garrity among those who were interviewed for the position, sources said.

The executive committee had hired an executive search firm and began accepting nominations and applications, casting a wide net from candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences who led other organizations.

With the search on pause, the union can now solely focus on the current state of the league.

In March, it was announced that a search for a successor would be initiated. Roberts made it clear this would be her final four-year term, allowing for ample time for the executive committee and Roberts to orchestrate a smooth transition.

There is no timeline to hire a successor, sources said.

The players union and league reached an agreement to push back to September the deadline for a 60-day window to terminate the CBA, a provision under the force majeure clause the league has at its disposal in order to get more time to properly assess the economic damage caused by the pandemic. The current CBA runs through the 2023-24 season.

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