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Billy Hunter fired by NBA players union
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 16, 2013 @ 5:57 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
HOUSTON — Billy Hunter’s 17-year run as the National Basketball Players Association’s executive director came to inglorious end Saturday.
The NBPA executive committee comprised of players, including President Derek Fisher, fired the embattled Hunter amid serious concerns surrounding Hunter’s business practices as union leader. Fisher called Saturday “a day of change” for the NBPA.
Fisher, Matt Bonner, James Jones, Jerry Stackhouse, Roger Mason Jr., Chris Paul, Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry and Willie Green formed the NBPA’s new executive committee. Team representatives voted on the proposal to fire Hunter, with the final tally 24-0 in favor of the move, with six teams abstaining.
An independent review revealed an unflattering portrayal of the way Hunter conducted business, including questionable hiring practices, financial decisions, contract negotiations, use of vacation days and potential misuse of union funds for travel.
Saturday morning, approximately 15 agents met with union officials, including Fisher, acting executive director Ron Klempner, and attorneys from the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Paul, Weiss updated agents on the state of its inquiry and answered questions.
Paul, Weiss is the firm which conducted an independent review of Hunter and union practices. The report, released on Jan. 17, is a scathing and puts Hunter in an unflattering light.
Hunter has been executive director since 1996 and was making $3 million per year. The Paul, Weiss report criticized Hunter’s hiring practices, which included charges of nepotism. The report also asserted that Hunter didn’t have his contract extension properly approved and when notified that it wasn’t approved properly, Hunter took no action.
Also of serious concern is “purported agreement between the NBPA and Prim Capital,” according to Paul, Weiss. Prim Capital is the firm which employs Hunter’s son, Todd, and had a business relationship with the NBPA at $602,000 a year.
“For example, we were informed repeatedly by Union employees over the course of the investigation that the 2005 Agreement was the NBPA’s most recent contract with Prim,” the report stated.. “Theresa Messer reported that although she had raised with Prim the need for a written contract on multiple occasions, and had been told that one would be prepared, she never … [For more on Billy Hunter fired by NBA players union, click here.]
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