Gauging the NBPA's options

Union's actions might determine Chris Paul's legacy more than on-court exploits

Updated: May 23, 2014, 7:42 PM ET
By Larry Coon | ESPN Insider

Adam Silver, Donald Sterling, Chris PaulUSA TODAY Sports, Getty ImagesIt's crunch time for Adam Silver, Donald Sterling and Chris Paul. What are their next moves?

Going into the playoffs, Chris Paul never could have imagined the weight that soon would be hoisted onto his shoulders. But then the Donald Sterling story broke, and everything changed.

Now that the Los Angeles Clippers' playoff run is over, the spotlight stays on Paul, but for a different reason. As the president of the players association, Paul is ultimately responsible for crafting the players' response to the Sterling situation. This could be a watershed moment for the union and its president -- who has been on the job for less than a year -- after recent events have rocked the union to its core.

The search is ongoing for a new union executive director to replace the deposed Billy Hunter. Until someone is named and takes over the post, the buck stops with Paul. This is the playing field Paul inherited, and which he must navigate as he seeks a successful resolution of the Sterling situation. This is a shot at redemption that could re-galvanize the players association. Rallying the players to collectively pressure Sterling could unify and strengthen the union moving forward.

So what options are available to Paul and Clippers players? The players union?

Larry Coon is the author of the NBA Salary Cap FAQ.