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Chris Paul elected NBPA president

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Chris Paul made it official: He's back with the Clippers. (USATSI)
Chris Paul is the new president of the NBPA. (USATSI)

It's President CP3 now.

Announced late Wednesday, Chris Paul has been elected as the new president of the National Basketball Players Association, succeeding Derek Fisher.

Paul has served previously as a union vice president, but is now in charge of redirecting the players after a year and a half of controversy and problems.

Paul, a six-time All-Star, becomes the biggest star to serve as NBPA president since Patrick Ewing held the post in 2001.

On a conference call following the election, Paul stressed that the important message from the players is a desire to get the entire union involved, something the NBPA has struggled with in the past that has come back to bite them during lockouts in 1999 and 2011.

"Right now is a big time for us as players and as a union moving forward," Paul said. "I have a lot of experience having been around the union, but moving forward it's not about me as president or the first vice president, it's about the players as a whole, as a body. That's what we've focused on, how we can build the game."

Following the tumultuous events of the last year in which executive director Billy Hunter was removed amidst a scandal involving charges of nepotism and abuse of power, Paul described the situation the union was facing as a "rebuild."

Roger Mason Jr. was said to be the frontrunner for the position, but with Paul's star power and strong voice, he overtook Mason. Part of the likely reason why is that Mason is currently a free agent and with the union trying to gather itself after 18 months of issues, having stable leadership was key. Mason will serve as first vice president under Paul, however.

Joining the two among the officers as vice presidents are Lakers guard Steve Blake and Charlotte Bobcat Anthony Tolliver. Tolliver was an outspoken player advocate during the 2011 lockout.

LeBron James was considering a run for president as well, but ultimately decided against it because of time commitment issues.

"My first priority is to continue to get as much involvement as possible from our players.," Paul said. "That's what it's all about. That's what it's been about and that's what it's about going forward."

Paul's first order of business is hiring a new executive for the union after Hunter's firing. Paul said there was "no rush" when it came to hiring a new executive director.

"We want to make sure our house in is order and make sure everything is in the right place so the exec director can come in and hit the ground running."

 
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