Michele Roberts to head NBA players union

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Updated: 7/29 9:44 am

(SportsNetwork.com) - The National Basketball Players Association has named Michele Roberts as the new executive director of the union.

Roberts, a Washington, DC trial attorney, will replace Billy Hunter, who was removed from his post in February 2013. She will be the first woman to lead a major sports union.

After a long day of Monday meetings, a vote by the NBPA executive committee members and team player representatives just after midnight ET made it official. Roberts won by reportedly obtaining 32 votes.

"We're thrilled the players selected Michele Roberts as #NBPA Executive Director! Congrats to our players & exec comm for a historic choice," the NBPA said via Twitter.

Roberts, also an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Law School, was among three reported finalists for the position. The others were Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, and longtime Dallas Mavericks executive Terdema Ussery.

"On behalf of the NBA, I would like to congratulate Michele Roberts on her appointment as the NBPA's new executive director and look forward to working with her and the NBPA executive committee to ensure the continued health and growth of our game," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a statement. "The partnership between our players and teams is the backbone of the league, and we are eager to continue working with the players association to build this relationship. I also want to thank Ron Klempner for his service as interim executive director over the past 18 months."

Hunter had served as executive director from 1996 until his ouster in February 2013, guiding the players through a trio of collective bargaining agreements. He was removed by a unanimous vote amid allegations of questionable business practices.

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