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Derek Fisher fires back at union officials who tried to oust him

Apr 21, 2012, 1:57 AM EDT

Derek Fisher AP

This is getting ugly.

First NBA players’ union president Derek Fisher convinced the executive committee of the union to do a full-scale audit of the union and its business. Then union executive director Billy Hunter convinced the executive committee to both kill that audit and ask Fisher to resign. He refused. They asked again on Friday evening.

Then Fisher released this statement of his own on Friday night firing back. We take it from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

“I along with many others are extremely disappointed with the executive committee,” Fisher wrote in an email distributed by his publicist Friday night. “Their demand for my resignation and their need to protect the NBPA management and their own best interests instead of protecting the players we were elected to serve is unfortunate.

“I have tried to convey the legal and moral obligations we have as union officers. Sadly, the executive committee has now waged a personal character attack on me to divert attention from the real issue. The truth…

“So the next step is simple. All players have a voice. Any and all players may request an independent review of the business practices and finances and a player representative vote can be taken at a time when all 30 player representatives can be present. A firm of the players choosing may conduct the review.

“The allegations that are now being directed at me are defamatory. But I urge our members to order an independent review beginning immediately and that will be proven along with finding out definitively if there are any issues with the NBPA’s business practices and finances.”

There are plenty of agents who want to see that review as well.

This is a power struggle for the soul of the NBA players union, and it’s going to get uglier before it gets better.

  1. nesgodawg - Apr 21, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    How can you be union president when the team you play for isn’t even in the NBA.

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:21 AM

      The Thunder aren’t in the NBA?

  2. davidly - Apr 21, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Fish takes the charge and fires the ball back into their court! Looks like he can still play both sides of the ball to me.

  3. seattlesuperchronic - Apr 21, 2012 at 3:57 AM


    Yes! Also, this is getting juicy. Bring on the soap opera!

  4. kappy32 - Apr 21, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    I’m getting tired of this guy. He does a lot of talking for a union official who allowed his union to get BOHICA’d by the owners in the last CBA. Also, let’s be very clear about something… Fisher said he was trying convey the legal obligations they have to the members. Last time I checked, his name wasn’t Derek Fisher, Esq. This guy has no business conveying legal advice to anyone. Attorneys like myself who spent years of torture in law school & another 4 long months of 13 hour days for bar exam prep get annoyed by wannabe lawyers who think they know what their talking about because they read a book, took a business law class in college, or read a legal document a couple times in their lives. I come from a family with two people who have been elected president/business manager of their union. Neither one of them thought they were attorneys because they won a friggen union election. There is a reason why unions retain labor attorneys & that is to advise the officials of their legal obligations to the members, among other things. It’s not Fisher’s job to do that, bottom line, end of story.

    • bosoxsux - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      Put a cap in it Kappy. I’m a lawyer too. Been one for twenty years now managing compliance for a Fortune 25 co. here in CT. No one, no one with business integrity would ever, ever deny an independent audit unless there is something they wish to remain uncovered–their incompetence, negligence or illegal activity. You don’t have to be an attorney with Esq credentials to see that. Common sense, integrity and a fundamental sense of right/wrong is all you need. Fisher has that in spades and I would trust him any day of the week and twice on Sunday over an incompetent like Hunter and all his nepotistic hangers on–including yourselF!

  5. jaxjagfasure - Apr 21, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    This is very interesting! Seems to me that if you have nothing to hide, you gladly open those books. I think Billy Hunter and staff are hiding something

  6. ranoversquarells - Apr 21, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    Go get them Fish!!!

  7. jumbossportsblog - Apr 21, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog.

    • metalhead65 - Apr 21, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      why do you allow this clown on here? nobody cares that you copy everything on here! your site is worthless!

  8. omniusprime - Apr 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    What does Billy Hunter and the rest of the NBPA executive committee have to hide? Allow Fisher to bring on the audit to show Hunter and cabal are clean and aren’t hiding anything illicit. I’ll trust Fisher on this one even if he no longer is a Laker, he’s always been an upright and honest kind of man in the NBA.

  9. therealhtj - Apr 21, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Throughout the entire lockout, Hunter always struck me as one smarmy, snake oil salesman. What does Fisher really have to gain here by ordering this audit many of you ask?

    In a case like this, you always follow the money. If I were a betting man, I’d say Fish wants Hunter’s job. Fish knows his playing days are all but over. And he probably knows Hunter is as crooked as the day is long which is why he brought up the audit. Hunter is fighting it tooth and nail because he has something to hide. Fish figures once it comes to light, he has a good chance of snatching the position for himself. Ka-Ching.

    Hunter makes millions representing the players. He’s actually not bad at his job. Regardless of the team you follow, there’s some garbage player with a fat contract carrying you into cap purgatory. He’s led them into two lockouts where these players STILL have their guaranteed contracts. Sure they got smaller every time, but STILL guaranteed. Hear that Mavs fans? Even if no one takes Lamar Odom off your hands, you get the pleasure of paying him $2.4 million to stay home all while having that money count against your ever more restrictive salary cap. You can thank Billy Hunter and the “union” for that because guaranteed contracts are really what are killing the quality of the NBA.

  10. insi10 - Apr 21, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Derek Fisher has always been an honest and honorable man. A great father who asked to be traded back to L.A. for the benefit of his child, not himself. Billy Hunter — the guy who came out accusing the NBA of racism for not budging on money issues — strikes me as lowlife scum.

    If Fisher is calling for an audit, then there is probably good reason for an audit.

    I predict that Billy Hunter’s days outside a courtroom are numbered.

  11. charlutes - Apr 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    D Fish is awesome.

  12. thraiderskin - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Good for Fish, don’t back down, this is what Unions in general have become and it is the duty of a man in Fish’s position to hold the Union accountable. It is a damn shame that this is how Unions have come to abuse their power and purpose. Unions serve a purpose, to protect the working from abuse by their employer, but corruption runs thick and as they, stand unions simply only worry about their own self-interests.

  13. bmorehomeofthewire - Apr 21, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Derek Fisher is the same guy who left a deal by owners on table, let 2 weeks go by only to sign the same deal. You are a Fish out of water. Your career is over!!!

  14. chawk12thman - Apr 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Hard to argue against having an independent review. Why did the Executive Committee changed horses seems to me to be the biggest red flag here?

  15. lakerade - Apr 22, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Dfish exposed em and now theyre scared. The corruption extends beyond.

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