NBPA director Billy Hunter will fight for job
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
In the face of a scathing and detailed rebuke of National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter by an internal inquiry, Hunter was not defiant.
However, despite the internal review’s conclusions that “based on the findings of this report, the NBPA should consider whether Mr. Hunter should remain as the Union’s Executive Director,” Hunter made clear in his statement that he does not plan to step down any time soon.
“I look forward to continuing my work with the NBPA, adopting additional recommendations from the report, and opening a new chapter of NBPA governance,” Hunter said in a statement Thursday, the same day the report was released.
That’s no surprise to those who know Hunter. He is a fighter. Always has been, as a district attorney, U.S. attorney, private lawyer for big-name clients and of course as NBPA executive director, going head-to-head with NBA Commissioner David Stern.
What next for Hunter? The internal review is complete and found no evidence of criminal activity into the NBPA’s and Hunter’s practices, and In his statement, Hunter said he disagreed with some of the report’s findings. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office investigation remains ongoing.
The internal report detailed an unflattering portrait of some of Hunter’s practices, including the nature in which Hunter procured his $3 million a year contract in violation of NBPA by-laws, hiring of immediate family members and lax approach to some internal affairs.
“This paints a picture of someone who didn’t take his fiduciary responsibilities very seriously – the main one of which is to be open and honest and disclosed,” University of Toledo law professor Geoffrey Rapp told USA TODAY Sports. “If there’s a conflict of interest, bring that to the attention of the people who are in a position of checking you and your leadership and making sure you are treating the institute fairly. … His leadership is going to be under some pressure in the coming weeks and months.”
If Hunter wants to continue in his position, he will begin repairing damage at All-Star Weekend Feb. 15-17 in Houston. Since the lockout ended in December of 2011, Hunter has maintained a low … [For more on NBPA director Billy Hunter will be in fight for his job, click here.]