NBA players union elects new executive director

The National Basketball Players Association has elected Michele Roberts as executive director, making her the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union.

Roberts received 32 of 36 votes in a process that was completed in the early morning hours of Tuesday. The Washington trial lawyer defeated tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote.

“After all the hours and time (invested by) our executive committee, along with an amazing search committee that helped throughout this process, it’s an unbelievable feeling to have the wonderful Michele Roberts now as a part of our team,” NBPA president and Los Angeles Clippers star guard Chris Paul told reporters in Las Vegas.

The vote capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February of 2013. Roberts was one of the finalists initially offered to the rank-and-file during All-Star weekend in February, but the process was re-opened to broaden the search at the urging of some players and agents.

– Associated Press