LeBron James named first vice president of NBA Players Association

James was elected unanimously and will work with NBPA president Chris Paul to lead the players' union.
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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been elected unanimously to act as first vice president for the National Basketball Players Association, NBPA executive director Michele A. Roberts confirmed on Friday.

James will rank ahead of the NBPA's six vice presidents, and be superseded by only Chris Paul of the LA Clippers, the organization's current president. Paul had been calling for James to join him by taking the second-highest ranking spot in the union, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

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The first vice presidency will be James' first formal role within the union's leadership. In the past, the Cavaliers star sat in on talks with the NBA during the 2011 lockout and has voiced his concerns about the way the max contract rules affect star players.

James' interest in pursuing the spot was driven in part by a desire to take part in negotiations over a new television deal and a collective bargaining agreement, both expected to take place in the coming years, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

The voting occurred on Friday during the NBA's All-Star weekend, where James will be starter during Sunday's All-Star game.

James, an 11-year veteran, has averaged 25.9 points, 7.3 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game in his first season back in Cleveland. He played the previous four years in Miami, after spending his first seven years in the NBA with the Cavaliers.

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The NBPA was established in 1954 with the aim of protecting NBA players' rights and maximizing their on- and off-court opportunities. Paul and James will work alongside Roberts, who is in her first year as the NBPA's executive director.

- Christopher Woody