NBPA chief Billy Hunter made $3 million
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY
National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter was paid $3 million from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012, a $600,000 — or 25% — raise over the previous year, according to NBPA documents filed Friday with the United States Department of Labor.
The finances and spending practices of the NBPA have been under scrutiny since at least April when several news outlets, including USA TODAY Sports, looked at the union’s payroll, which included Hunter’s daughter, Robyn Hunter; his daughter-in-law Megan Inaba; union payments to Prim Capital, a financial services company where Hunter’s son is partner; and a law firm, Steptoe & Johnson, which employs another of Hunter’s daughters, Alexis Hunter.
The scrutiny prompted the union to hire Theodore V. Wells Jr. and law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison for an independent review and financial audit. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan is also investigating. The independent review and the U.S. investigation are not finished, according to two people familiar with the situation. They requested anonymity because the investigation and review are ongoing.
National Football League Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith made $2.49 million from March 1, 2011-Feb. 28, 2012,and former NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw, now deceased, earned $4.26 million in a similar calendar year in 2006-07, according to Department of Labor filings.
In the most recent Major League Baseball Players Association,executive director Michael Weiner earned $1 million annually, and former MLBPA chief, Donald Fehr, who is now with the National Hockey Players’ Association, made $1 million for several years.
Hunter, the longest current tenured union chief at 16 years, helped negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA in late November, however the 149-day lockout resulted in the cancellation of the original preseason and a shortened 66-game season.
Hunter declined an interview through a spokesman. In April, Hunter told The New York Times, “There’s nothing illegal, and you’re not going to find anything illegal, you or anybody else, if that’s what you’re looking for. I”m not afraid of that.”
The NBPA’s recent labor filing revealed: Hunter’s daughter Robyn, director of player benefits and concierge services earned $89,695 in the latest Labor … [For more on NBPA chief Billy Hunter made $3 million, a 25% raise, click here.]