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Retired NBA players are fighting amongst themselves, too

Nov 18, 2011, 6:59 PM EDT

Charles Smith Getty Images

There may be no more NBA players union, just a sad litle NBA players trade association. But don’t you worry, we still have your NBA union drama fix.

We just have to turn our attention to the National Basketball Retired Players Association. Even after they have retired, NBA players know how to screw things up in a union.

Former NBRPA executive director and former Knick Charles Smith is about to try and form his own rival union but the original one is threatening to sue, according to the New York Post (via SLAM).

According to those in the know, CEO Arnie D. Fielkow and president George Tinsley have reason to believe the estranged Smith has been contacting members regarding the possible start-up of a rival retired association. On Nov. 18, 2010, after two years on the job, Smith was furtively fired by Tinsley and a five-man board…

Oh, yeah, in the meantime, Smith threatened to sue the NBBPA for his wrongful discharge. I don’t believe he followed through.

“This has been nothing short of a witch hunt” and “character assassination,” he declared in an email sent to members a year ago. He maintained he’d done nothing “concrete” to validate his dismissal. The board claimed he’d “engaged in repeated acts of willful misconduct.”

I really cannot express how tired I am of writing about lawyers and not basketball games. But if you want to read about a fight for power, duplicitous actions and lawyers jumping into the fray go read the entire Post story.

Me? I’m going to the gym to shoot some actual hoops.

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