Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Ewing New President Of Nba Players Union

Compiled From Wire Services

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing was elected president of the National Basketball Players Association, giving him one of the strongest voices in the union he once tried to decertify.

He was elected in a secret ballot taken among the league’s 29 player representatives. The vote breakdown wasn’t available, a union spokesman said.

While Ewing is recognized as one of the league’s best centers, he’s also one of the NBA’s top player experts on the collective bargaining agreement, said Ewing’s agent, David Falk, and Billy Hunter, executive director of the players’ union.

“It’s apparent to me that we have somebody who can lead and unite the players,” Hunter told Bloomberg News. “Patrick has all the credibility in the world.”

Ewing has spent the past three years as a vice president on the union’s nine-member executive committee under his teammate, president Buck Williams. Like Williams, Ewing will serve a four-year term, Hunter said.

Ewing pushed along with Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan in 1995 to decertify the union before the current collective bargaining agreement was ratified. The attempt failed as players voted 226-134 against it.

In other results from the election, Charles Smith of the San Antonio Spurs was re-elected as first vice president of the players’ union. Jim McIlvaine of the Seattle SuperSonics was elected secretary and treasurer.

Ewing, Smith and McIlvaine will serve four-year terms while the vice presidents serve for three years. The Toronto Raptors signed forward Tracy McGrady, their top selection in this year’s draft.

McGrady, who was the ninth overall pick, received a three-year contract worth at least $3.9 million.

The 6-foot-8, 210-pound McGrady averaged 27.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 2.0 blocks per game for Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C., last season. He was selected USA Today’s high school Player of the Year.