The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced on Wednesday that it has selected Tamika L. Tremaglio to serve as its next executive director, succeeding Michele Roberts upon her retirement at the end of the year.
— The University of Baltimore (@ubaltmain) December 19, 2017
Tremaglio will be retiring as the Managing Principal of Deloitte’s Greater Washington practice, where she has served as a trusted advisor and consultant to the NBPA since 2012.
Second Woman NBPA Executive Director In History
NBPA President CJ McCollum said: “Tamika has been by our side for many years, advising us on the best practices and policies needed for our organization to operate more like a successful business. Given Michele’s strong leadership and guidance that have brought us to where we are today, we were looking for a next-generation leader, who has the skills, vision, and credibility to pick up where Michele will leave off and to elevate our Union to even greater heights. Tamika’s well-rounded experience in collective bargaining, staff management, revenue creation, wealth preservation and culture building, undoubtedly will put our players in the best position to succeed.”
Tremaglio, who holds J.D. and MBA degrees, and is also trained as a forensic accountant, currently leads over 14,000 employees across 23 offices in the Greater Washington area. She serves as a leader in Deloitte’s Consumer Products and Sports Industry practice, including more than 15 years of service to several players associations.
In addition to her pivotal consulting work to strengthen the NBPA’s internal business and compliance practices, Ms. Tremaglio was at the table with the WNBA players in 2019 for the successful negotiation of their current collective bargaining agreement.
“Tamika will be an excellent Executive Director for the NBPA,” said a statement from Roberts, who in 2014 became the first woman to hold that position and the first woman to head a major professional sports union in North America.
“I have spent considerable time working with her over the past several years and I know she cares deeply about the players and wants the best for them, just as I do. I’m looking forward to retirement, but take solace in knowing the NBPA is in extremely capable hands.”
Searching For The Next Great NBPA Leader
The NBPA was advised on its search by the law firm Dechert LLP, led by Christina Sarchio and Amisha Patel, and executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, led by Billy Dexter, Ben Weber, and Jackie Zavitz.
“I’ve worked with some of the brightest business and legal minds in the world,” Tremaglio’s press release said. “I’ve broken barriers, challenged misperceptions, and much like the professional athletes I’ve supported over the years, I have defied the odds. I’m incredibly grateful and passionate about this opportunity to serve the Players and positively contribute to the role that the NBPA will play in the future of basketball, both on and off the court.”
Huge Shoes To Fill
The rise of NBA player salaries, empowerment, widespread entrepreneurship and the use of leverage in forcing trades and building super teams can be attributed to the tenure of NBPA executive director Michele Roberts.
When Roberts, 65, became the first female head of a sports labor union after she rose from public defender to a successful career as a trial lawyer, she immediately announced that her loyalty was to the players and getting them a larger piece of the billion-dollar pie that the predominantly Black league puts into the pockets of its owners.
Most Powerful Woman In Sports
In 2018, she was voted the “Most Powerful Woman In Sports” by Forbes.
Roberts inherited an NBPA in disarray and weakened by a predecessor in Billy Hunter, who was considered “an owner’s pet” and dealt in reckless nepotism and mishandled finances.
Roberts restored honor to the position and clearly drew a line in the sand. Her toughness, intelligence, character, and commitment to the players has attracted elite brand names into leadership roles on the executive committee during her eight-year tenure, including LeBron James and Steph Curry.
Tremaglio For The Win
“Our goal when we hired Michele was to take back our union,” said former NBPA President Chris Paul. “With her leadership and guidance, we have not only accomplished that but we have also established the NBPA as one of the strongest and most active unions in all of professional sports.”
Revenue is booming, players have much more control over their careers and a much louder voice when it comes to using the league’s platform to bring light to injustices in society. Roberts isn’t leaving Tremaglio a jalopy of a union to run. She’s left the cupboard full and the Ferrari is already gassed up.
All Tremaglio has to do is hop in drive and avoid a crash, because the league is thriving.