Nets guard Kyrie Irving has been elected as a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association. He replaces Pau Gasol, whose three-year term expired, on the union's executive committee.
"This was the right time for me to run for a leadership position in the NBPA," Irving said in a statement. "I have been an observer and a participant in union affairs for a while, but for the most part, I was off on the sidelines, supporting our Executive Committee as they made important decisions. At this point in my career, I wanted to join forces with those guys and take a bigger role outside of the basketball court and within our union."
Irving is one of six vice presidents on the NBPA's executive committee, joining Bismack Biyombo, Malcom Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, C.J. McCollum and Garrett Temple. Chris Paul is the president, while Andre Iguodala is first vice president and Anthony Tolliver is secretary-treasurer.
Irving's first season with the Nets has been marred by injury, which began with a facial fracture he suffered in preseason action.
The 27-year-old has played in just 20 games in the regular season, after missing 26 games earlier in the season with a shoulder impingement. He missed a Jan. 20 game against the Sixers with a hamstring injury and sat out the team's Jan. 26 contest against the Knicks following the death of Kobe Bryant. He's currently hobbled by a knee injury suffered on Feb. 1 that has forced him out of action for the last five games.
Before the Nets headed to the All-Star break, head coach Kenny Atkinson was non-comittial about his point guard being ready to go when his team returns to action on Thursday.
""I think we'll wait until we come back to make that decision. There's a lot of days and I don't want to go out and say something that I would regret later," Atkinson said last week. "There's obviously a lot of days in between, and we'll see. When we get back, those first couple practices will determine where he is."