Michele Roberts was elected executive director of the NBA Players Association nearly 18 months after Billy Hunter was ousted.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed the move late Monday. Roberts is the first woman to be the union's executive director.

"Let's be clear: I'm sure there were people that noticed I was a girl," Roberts said in an interview session with reporters after the vote. "Having said that, I frankly wanted to address that question up front whenever I spoke with any of the members of the executive committee and the union. My sense was, the only thing people cared about was my resolve."

Roberts and Silver will become the key figures in a major upcoming labor negotiation in 2017, when salary cap structure, media and television contracts, draft age requirements and a possible in-season tournament are priority topics expected to make the docket.

A profile on her law firm's website lists Roberts as a 1977 Wesleyan University graduate who got her law degree from the University of California-Berkeley in 1980.

Roberts was a public defender before moving into private practice.

After word of Roberts' election surfaced, Silver released a statement that read, "On behalf of the NBA, I would like to congratulate Michele Roberts on her appointment as the NBPA's new Executive Director and look forward to working with her and the NBPA Executive Committee to ensure the continued health and growth of our game. The partnership between our players and teams is the backbone of the league, and we are eager to continue working with the Players Association to build this relationship. I also want to thank Ron Klempner for his service as interim Executive Director over the past 18 months."

Hunter was fired in February 2013 after an independent audit questioned his business and hiring practices. The report accused him of nepotism and of abusing union resources for personal gain.

In 2017, players or the league can opt out of the collective bargaining agreement to seek a revised deal. That is largely expected with players pushing for changes to max salary structure and new rights as it pertains to ownership and workplace environment in light of the ongoing Los Angeles Clippers saga.