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LeBron says NBPA 'going backwards,' that his 'voice could be huge'

By Royce Young | NBA writer

This was James in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. (USATSI)
Could LeBron rule the league off the court too? (USATSI)

LeBron James didn't sugarcoat his reasons for wanting to be the next National Basketball Players Association president.

"I just think the union is going backwards, and it's not in a good place right now," James told ESPN.com. "I think my voice could be huge in that situation."

After a very contentious lockout in 2011 where there was scrapping between executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher, the union has been under heavy scrutiny by players. The 2011 lockout ended with the players giving back a significant amount of basketball related income to the owners, settling for a deal that most didn't see as favorable to the players.

Following the lockout, Hunter eventually was fired after a scandal involving nepotism allegations and Fisher's term ended after the season.

LeBron is the game's best player, a four-time MVP and back-to-back champion. He's also one of the most respected players in the league, as well as maybe the most high-profile. The union hasn't had a player of his caliber as president since Patrick Ewing in 1998.

Having all that as the head of the player's union would be quite strong, especially with possible negotiations coming again in a few years if either side decides opt out in 2017 from the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The issue for LeBron, however, is simply time.

"I'm not sure I have the time to do it, but it's something I'm going to think about with my team and go from there," James told ESPN.com. "But I think we all can agree there's been a lot of transition in our union in the last couple of years. If it's not me in that seat then I hope it's someone who is comfortable with it and can do the job."

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