The Rise of Michele Roberts, New Head of the NBA Players’ Union

Michele RobertsIn one of the most intriguing recent developments in the sports industry, the National Basketball Players Association has named Washington attorney Michele Roberts as its new director. Roberts, the first woman to lead a major U.S. professional sports union, reportedly beat out scores of other candidates even though she has no background in labor relations or professional athletics. ?Her closest tie to basketball,? according to the New York Times, ?was a Washington Wizards season-ticket package she shared with friends.?

Not that she lacks for impressive credentials. Roberts? career represents a triumph of talent, grit, and idiosyncratic personal style. During a pitch to a Las Vegas ballroom full of very tall male athletes, she confronted the obvious question of why a woman deserved to speak for NBA players. ?My past,? she said, according to the Times, ?is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.? Perhaps out of concern that they might end up in Roberts? boneyard, the NBA players overwhelmingly chose her as their leader.

Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek.