|Billy Hunter sounds ready to add Jeremy Lin to an NBPA position. (Getty Images)|
Let's just cut to the chase and make him President of the United States.
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American global sensation, has attracted attention from all corners: endorsers, marketers, promoters, media members, you name it.
Add National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter to that mix.
Bloomberg.com reports that Hunter is planning to meet with Lin during the 2012 All-Star Weekend to discuss a potential role for Lin, who holds an economics degree from Harvard, with the NBPA.
The NBPA's current president, Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher, looks to be headed for retirement any year now, so a change at the very top will have to come sometime soon.
“At the least he’d be the player representative for the Knicks,” Hunter said in a telephone interview. “If not something higher.”
“First of all, it’s not every day that you get a kid from Harvard,” Hunter said. “He’s very bright.”
Fisher and Lin actually share a number of characteristics. Neither is a me-first guy, on or off the court. Both are effective, direct communicators who seem to favor consensus-building. Both are natural born leaders, comfortable with their teams under their control and confident with the game on the line. Both are polished, too.
The NBPA's executive board really is a thankless task that requires an inordinate amount of sacrifice. There's little glamour, but tons of responsibility. If things go well, there's no credit given because things were supposed to go well. If things go poorly, it's the board's fault. As we saw throughout 2011, coordinating a negotiating stance in this era of constant communication and social networks is a near impossible challenge. But we've learned over the last few weeks that Lin happens to excel at near impossible challenges.
A cynic might say that Hunter, who took months of flak for his handling of the last round of labor negotiations, is simply being opportunistic here and trying to get in on the Lin lovefest. That may be true. But a realist would counter that Hunter would be a fool not to reach out to Lin -- given his educational pedigree, leadership skills and personality -- immediately. It makes too much sense.