Jan 17, 2013, 6:39 PM EST
UPDATE 6:39 pm: Union Executive Director Billy Hunter released a statement. What you think of it pretty much describes what you think of Hunter. Here it is in its entirety:
“The NBPA is currently reviewing the full independent special report simultaneous with the public. While I strongly disagree with some of the findings contained in the report, I am pleased it recognized that I have not engaged in criminal acts nor was I involved in misappropriation of union funds. Regarding my contract — my third in a long tenure of the organization — it was ratified by the NBPA Executive Committee and signed by President Derek Fisher. I believe the contract and extensions are valid. I am pleased to discuss with the Player Representative board any concerns about my contract.
“In my work for the NBPA, my priority has always been to promote the interests of the players. Through the benefit of hindsight, as with any executive, there are always things that could have been done better. But on the major issue, I am pleased that this report has confirmed what I have always known and said, I did nothing illegal.
“During my tenure, the salaries of NBA players have more than doubled and they are the highest paid athletes in the world. When I arrived at the NBPA in 1996 the challenges were significant. The Union’s financial liabilities exceeded its assets. Today the Union is solvent and its financial future is secure. The Union and players endured two lengthy and costly lockouts. Our greatest accomplishment is the unity and solidarity that the players maintained throughout those very difficult rounds of bargaining.
“Prior to the report’s issuance, the NBPA began implementation of some of the recommendations suggested, including a revised hiring policy and a new anti-nepotism policy. I look forward to continuing my work with the NBPA, adopting additional recommendations from the report and opening a new chapter of NBPA governance. I believe through these steps the NBPA will emerge from this review a stronger organization and continue to meet the needs of its membership. I will be reaching out to the membership to discuss the report and address ways to pursue the best path forward for the NBPA.”
3:47 pm: During the NBA lockout there was clearly a divide within the National Basketball Players Association (the NBA players union) — it was sort of “are you with executive director Billy Hunter or not?”
The lockout ending didn’t end the dispute. On Thursday the results of an investigation into the union raised a lot of questions about how the union does business. That includes Hunter’s own $15 million contract not going through the proper approval process.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network has the details on what the report by the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison found. For the record they found no criminal issues with the union, but a whole lot of red flags on other issues saying Hunter put personal issues and interests ahead of the players and the union.
As previously reported by Yahoo! Sports, Hunter “never told the union’s executive committee or player representatives that his current employment contract, which was executed in 2010, was not properly approved under the union’s By-Laws, even though by at least November 2011 outside counsel to the Union had told Mr. Hunter that the necessary approval had not occurred and remained necessary.”
• As detailed in an April report by Y! Sports, Hunter “involved family and friends in union business as employees or vendors without full disclosure and the disinterested approval of the union’s officers and directors.”
• “Created an atmosphere at the NBPA that discouraged challenges to his authority, including by allowing the union’s former general counsel, Gary Hall, to stop former secretary-treasurer Pat Garrity from speaking freely about conflicts of interest to the executive committee.”
So, he acted like every other executive in a suit in New York.
Hunter, no doubt, will challenge all the claims made. I’m not going to guess who is right and who is wrong. In a lot of ways this is a power struggle so everything is spin.
The real question is what is next. The union as a whole is scheduled to meet All-Star Weekend in Houston, you can bet this comes up. Is it time for a change in leadership at the union? If so, what direction do they go? Or, is it better to let Hunter stay and try to clean up issues.
Why it matters to fans is this — in five years you can bet one side is going to opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was just formalized and signed more than a year ago. Who sits at the negotiating table when that happens matters. For the owners it will be Adam Silver, the current deputy commissioner tagged to take over the big chair when David Stern steps down in 2014.
Who sits in the chair for the players union (along with economic and other factors) will determine whether things get resolved or if the NBA goes the way of the NHL with its labor fights.
Dec 21, 2013, 5:00 PM EST
NEW YORK – The Knicks suffered their 10th home loss of the season on Saturday, playing against an injury-ravaged Grizzlies team that came in losing five straight and seven of its last eight games. The noon start time wasn’t as big of a problem as it had been in New York’s previous two early starts,…
Dec 21, 2013, 3:30 PM EST
Miami Heat players have been videobombing each other’s postgame interviews after victories since at least last season, and it seems as though doing things like making funny faces or doing a robot dance has now become passé. Dwyane Wade upped the ante recently by cartwheeling his way through a LeBron James interview, and now the two…
Dec 21, 2013, 2:00 PM EST
Wesley Matthews is having a career year — he is scoring a career high 16.2 points a game, he is shooting 44.2 percent from three (39.8 percent last season had been a career high) and he is shooting a lot better inside the arc as well, with a true shooting percentage of 64.5 percent (career…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:30 PM EST
Richard Jefferson is in his 13th NBA season, and for the first time in his career will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. After earning over $100 million in salary, you can understand why money will be the least of his concerns when signing what may be his final contract. Jefferson was open in…
Dec 21, 2013, 11:08 AM EST
Nets center Brook Lopez is out for the season after suffering a broken foot, news that was first broken by CSNNE.com’s Gary Tanguay and has since been confirmed by many others. NBA source tells me Brook Lopez of the Nets is done for the year. Broken foot. East continues to get worse. #celticstalk — Gary…
Dec 21, 2013, 11:00 AM EST
The Celtics have been better than most expected through the first 27 games of the season, and thanks to playing in the dreadful Atlantic Division, their 12-15 record has them sitting at the four seed in the Eastern Conference standings. That isn’t likely to last all year long, however, and being three games under .500…
Dec 21, 2013, 9:30 AM EST
The Pacers have been one of the top teams to this point in the season, but two of their five losses had come in their last two games. They made sure to leave no doubt in getting back on track Friday, beating an undermanned Rockets team that was without Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik by…
Dec 21, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
The Miami Heat have plenty of alternate jerseys, but haven’t been one of the teams to embrace the new sleeved models just yet. Every team playing on Christmas Day will be giving the new-look tops a try, however, and that includes the Heat. But LeBron James said that the team’s shooters are worried about how…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:17 AM EST
The Knicks have gotten killed in their home games this season that have begun with an early 12 noon tip-off, and head coach Mike Woodson is willing to try anything to avoid yet another embarrassing performance and disastrous result. New York hosts the Memphis Grizzlies at 12 noon at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, but…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:51 PM EST
When the Nets played the Sixers just four days ago in Brooklyn, they won by 36 points and honestly, the game wasn’t even that close. Things were different Friday night in Philadelphia, however, and it had everything to do with the available personnel. Kevin Garnett took this game off as a day of rest, and…
Dec 20, 2013, 9:36 PM EST
One of the first lessons a rookie can learn in the NBA is which players not to try to take a charge against. LeBron James has to be near the top of that list, but Kings rookie Ben McLemore gave it a shot anyway on Friday night in Miami. He chose … poorly. LeBron elevated…
Dec 20, 2013, 8:29 PM EST
This is the first ball I've seen with a Commissioner Adam Silver signature on it. http://t.co/eSlS3cMJ9P— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) December 19, 2013 The times, they are a changin’. Adam Silver will replace David Stern as NBA Commissioner on Feb. 1, and among the differences (there will not be that many, really) is that the NBA…
Dec 20, 2013, 7:28 PM EST
Dion Waiters — the Cavaliers second-leading scorer and a guy on the trade block according to reports — will be out Friday night against the Bucks and maybe longer due to a sore wrist. He has wrist tendonitis that had bothered him for a while but he had played through it — he had 25…
Dec 20, 2013, 6:29 PM EST
We had Rob Dauster of NBC’s CollegeBasketballTalk on the PBT Podcast recently and when the topic of Jabari Parker came up Dauster mentioned Carmelo Anthony — a polished scorer with the ability to play the four, score inside, or stretch the floor out to the arc. Dauster isn’t the only one to say that, it’s…
Dec 20, 2013, 5:05 PM EST
Yesterday we passed along the report that before Philadelphia had starting shopping Thaddeus Young around he had gone to the team and asked for a trade. He didn’t want to be part of a rebuilding process. If you’ve watched how this game was played with others guys trying to get moved then you knew what…
Dec 20, 2013, 4:07 PM EST
The last time we saw French center Alexis Ajinca in an NBA game it was 2011 with the Raptors. He had been a bit player with Dallas and Charlotte before that. Now he’s back getting another shot with the New Orleans Pelicans, reports the Times Picayune. The New Orleans Pelicans have reached a two-year contract…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:55 PM EST
There is no bigger story at the start of this NBA season than the Portland Trail Blazers — they are 22-5, tied with the Thunder for the best record in the West, and the Blazers have by far the best offense in the NBA. Which makes them a whole lot of fun to watch. Portland’s…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:10 PM EST
You can own a shoe that has kicked Chris Paul in the face. And who doesn’t want that? Remember the play from Nov. 19 — Tony Allen went into the air, got burned by CP3 something fierce, and in an effort to make a play and kick the ball away he caught Paul across the…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:28 PM EST
Plenty of NBA players have wanted to knock down a referee. D.J. Augustin now of the Bulls (he just signed with them in the wake of the Derrick Rose injury) did so Thursday night, albeit unintentionally. Oklahoma City’s Reggie Jackson and Augustin were chasing down a loose ball and Jackson went for the soccer play…
Dec 20, 2013, 12:51 PM EST
This could be fun: Deron Williams vs. Michael Carter-Williams. Looks like we will get to see it because Michael Carter-Williams is set to return to the Sixers lineup Friday night after missing seven straight games with a knee infection. Officially he is a game time decision — because teams like to keep their options open…
- Carmelo Anthony after latest home loss to Grizzlies: ‘I think it’s in our heads’ 0
- Brook Lopez suffers broken foot, out for the season 23
- Duke’s Jabari Parker doesn’t back away from Carmelo Anthony comparison 10
- Michael Carter-Williams returns to Sixers lineup Friday against Nets 6
- Report: Bulls not looking to trade Luol Deng. Why would you think that? 16
- Kobe Bryant is out six weeks with fracture in the left knee (70)
- LeBron did foul Paul George on final shot but there was no call (VIDEO) (60)
- Chicago columnist hammers Derrick Rose as no longer humble star (56)
- Report: Heat have interest in Celtics’ Jordan Crawford (50)
- LeBron angrily goes after Mario Chalmers on the Heat bench (VIDEO) (50)