NBA Players Union Fires Billy Hunter as Executive Director
New York, NY
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has fired Billy Hunter after 17-year tenure as executive director due to his questionable business practices.
"Today for the National Basketball Players Association was a day of change," NBPA president Derek Fisher announced after the union's executive committee approved the decision to fire Hunter.
"Players representatives in the general body of our association have made their voice and their votes heard. Today, the motion was raised, seconded and passed unanimously that we will terminate the employment of Billy Hunter," he added.
Team representatives earlier voted 24-0 to fire Hunter and the executive committee - composed of Fisher, Matt Bonner, James Jones, Jerry Stackhouse, Roger Mason Jr., Chris Paul, Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry and Willie Green passed it unanimously.
"We want to make it clear that we are here to serve only the best interests of the players - no threats, no lies and no distractions will stop us from serving our membership," Fisher said.
"We want to remind everyone there are three ongoing federal investigations. We'd like to continue to respect that process and we will continue to handle ourselves accordingly in that regard," he added.
In a statement, Hunter said he has yet to receive any notification about his firing, other than published news reports.
"If accurate, it is indicative of the extremely troubling process followed by the NBPA during the past few weeks," said Hunter, the union's executive director since 1996 with a salary of $3 million a year.
Hunter said his legal team will review the actions taken by the union and gather evidence that will show certain individuals made sure the outcome was preordained.
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.
The recent review conducted by law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison puts Hunter in an unflattering light.
The 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. When notified that it wasn't approved properly, Hunter took no action.
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