In what may have been one of the most surprising events to happen so far this offseason, Chris Paul has been elected as the new president of the NBPA. With his acceptance of the position, Paul is the most high- profile star to assume the role since Patrick Ewing was union president during the lockout of 1998-99.
This news comes after Roger Mason Jr., proclaimed that he was the man for the job late last week. Despite the turn of events, Mason will be assuming the role of First Vice President, serving under Paul.
The NBPA has been dealing with some controversy this past year, including the departure of Billy Hunter due to questionable business practices Hunter was involved in as the former union leader. As president, Paul will be looked upon to lead his union peers into a fresh direction.
In a statement, Paul expressed optimism and noted his history of being on the union’s executive committee during the 2011 lockout.
“I think I have a lot of experience, being around and knowing what’s going on,” Paul said. “Moving forward is not about me or any one person. It’s about the players as a whole. It’s going to take a lot of work, but we have a great executive committee, a great group of guys who are ready to move forward.”
The Los Angeles Clippers point guard is considered a floor general among his teammates on the court, so it will be interesting to see how successful he’ll be in this role.
Other items of note today — aside from the first of 30 team previews we will be running over the next 30 days, the first being the Knicks by new hire Michael Scotto.
Raymond Felton has proven to be rather enlightening these past few days about all things Knicks-related. Seriously, he’s been quote central this week. In an interview with Lang Whitaker on NBA.com, Felton said Anthony is the best scorer in the league.
Lang: “What’s it like playing with Carmelo Anthony? Because he’s such a great player, and he kind of gets overshadowed a bit by guys like LeBron or Kevin Durant. Even though he might be the best scorer in the NBA …’
FELTON: ‘Without a doubt. Without a doubt. Because he scores in so many ways. There’s a lot of guys who can score the basketball in this league. Kevin Durant, by far, is one of the top ones. Him and Melo could be neck-and-neck — those guys can score in a lot of ways. But Melo can score in more ways than KD, because Melo can post up, he can score off the dribble, he can score in the mid-range, he can score finishing at the rim, and he can shoot threes. You’re talking about a guy who has a total, complete game, and he’s big and strong — 6-8, big body, strong body. A lot of people like to talk about how he takes a lot of shots, this and that. Listen man: We need him to score.’ It gets maximized because if you’re having an off night and you take thirty-something shots, it’s like, “Aw man, he’s shooting too much.” If you’re having a great night, he’s got 40-something points and he took thirty-something shots, ain’t nobody saying nothing. I just tell him, “You do what we need you to do. As a team, we know what you’re going to do every night.”
What’s most fascinating about this is that Felton isn’t the only Knick that’s been soaking up his time in the spotlight. Teammates Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert have both made appearances on MTV programming recently. Might as well enjoy their free time while they still have it.
_ Nate Robinson continues to show why he’s one of the more charismatic players in the league. While walking through an airport he took the opportunity to practice some of his more reserved crossover moves against would-be opponents, or in this case, fellow passengers. A couple seemed to take part in the fun in their slight attempts to strip Nate of the ball. The star even took to posting the interaction on his instagram account.
_ To the old school purists, sorry to inform you that short sleeve jerseys will be mainstream. The Los Angeles Lakers are the next in line to try out the new style of uniforms this upcoming season, so expect to see Pau and Kobe modeling the look several times during the season — unless Pau is traded, of course.
While the jury still seems to be out on the growing change, sleeves appear to be getting firmly planted into the NBA. Hopefully this doesn’t lead to jerseys eventually being used as billboards for advertisers, we should expect to see that development under new commissioner Adam Silver.
Esau Howard is a regular contributor to SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.