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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 at 5:33 pm  |  45 responses

Report: Billy Hunter Tried Investing Millions of NBA Players’ Union Funds in a Bank Tied to His Son


The latest in the ongoing disaster that is otherwise known as the NBA Players Association is a bombshell from Yahoo! Sports today, comprehensively alleging that Billy Hunter wanted to invest union funds into a bank with deep ties to his son, Todd. Yikes: “On the weekend of the 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix, Pat Garrity, the treasurer of the National Basketball Players Association, walked into a conference room inside the Sheraton Phoenix determined to make one final stand in his decade of service to the union. Garrity had warned peers and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter prior to the ’09 executive committee meeting that he planned to challenge Hunter on business practices, and several players purposely steered clear of the confrontational scene. In the aftermath of the U.S. banking crisis in 2008, Garrity had grown increasingly suspicious of an investment bank project that Hunter had been pitching to the executive committee and player representatives. For Garrity and some peers in the NBPA, the investment made no sense. Hunter had sought a $7 million to $9 million investment from the union into Interstate Net Bank of Cherry Hill, N.J., a financial institution that federal and state banking regulators had slapped with debilitating ‘cease-and-desist’ orders, sources said. Garrity discovered information online that left him feeling obligated to confront Billy Hunter: Hunter’s son, Todd, had a seat on the board of directors of Interstate Net Bank. Todd Hunter is also a vice president for Prim Capital, which has a consulting contract with the NBPA that has paid the company in excess of $2.5 million since 2006, according to U.S. Department of Labor filings. ‘Why didn’t you disclose any of this?’ Garrity asked Hunter several times at the 2009 meeting, witnesses said. When reached by phone, Garrity confirmed the description of events that sources provided. He declined to further comment. Hunter declined comment for this story through a union spokesman. At the meeting, Hunter left the talking to longtime ally and NBPA chief counsel, Gary Hall, and Hall wasn’t offering answers. Garrity and Hall screamed back and forth, and Garrity’s questions weren’t addressed, witnesses said. Finally, witnesses said, Hall – who died on May 11, 2011 – told Garrity that he was a retired player, no longer welcome on the executive committee, and that security would be called to remove him unless he left on his own. With executive committee members Keyon Dooling and Adonal Foyle appearing uncomfortable – and NBPA president Derek Fisher refusing to use his authority to demand Garrity be allowed to speak over Hall’s yelling – Garrity left the room, left the NBPA and never returned again.”

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  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Horrible excuse for a human being. He and Donald Sterling have their own special place in hell.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com/ O

    I don’t get it, if this is true then why do NBA players like CP3 want Fisher out? This is gonna get super ugly.

  • ash

    These players better watch themesleves this is not going well. Something isn’t right

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    Billy has those lil boys wrapped around his fingers. Basically, he convinced them that nepotism happens everywhere so it’s okay that he practices it. He managed to convince them that outside review of union finances was unenecessary. The eight players on the executive committee support Hunter, but it is unclear how the rest of the league feels. It makes sense, since those eight want Fisher’s job. What doesn’t make sense is why Fish would stir all of this up if there isn’t reason for it. Hunter has to come with a better excuse than simplly saying it’s a personal vendetta. Frankly I don’t trust anyone who has a problem with transparency. What is there to hide if Fisher is just being a troublemaker? Why not make a fool of him by being transparent?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    wah oh

  • Shecky Shabazz

    He’s done. Plain and simple.

  • T-Money

    woj is the best nba reporter out there but is also one of the most openly biased nba reporter out there. he likes d-fish, always have. now, i don’t know the whole story here but it seems naive to me to just say that all the members of the executive committee are blindly following hunter because he’s oh so charismatic. read the report carefully, there’s not a single accusation of any wrongdoing. nepotism does happen everywhere, why would nba players care if hunter’s relatives get nbpa contracts as long as they’re qualified and the job is done adequately? billy hunter has actually been pretty good for the nbpa and saved as much as he could in the two latest cba negs.

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    If there weren’t questions about the job being done adequately and ethically we all wouldn’t be reading this article. If there is no objective monitor, who is there to ensure that there isn’t anything inappropriate going on? Isn’t that why nepotism is frowned upon in the first place? The fact that nepotism happens all over doesn’t make it right. When there are no neutral parties to ensure proper practices, questions will arise. Trying to silence those asking question only feeds suspicions. I’d like to hear what the other 400 players think. Eight people close to Hunter isn’t convincing enough.

  • LA Huey

    I see how this looks shady on Hunter’s part but what’s Fisher’s response to the memo the NBAPA sent out saying that Fisher’s pretty much MIA regarding union meetings and conference calls since January?

  • AB

    Simply put, this is bad. Billy Hunter is obviously pushing for Fishers resignation because Fish knows something. We have all seen someone at one point in our lives manipulate a situation. This is a prime example. Fisher asks questions, Hunter rallies the troops against him. Divide and conquer. Now I will admit that we do not have the whole story. So it is very tough to call Billy 100% wrong. But come on people! Billy Hunter has been outed several times over the last few years for his obvious greed. Now it is all coming to this. Fisher may be wrong with his allegations and what not. But I highly doubt it.

  • http://www.pisforprops.com jarrett

    SLAM yo enough is enough clean up the articles and create paragraphs it takes 3 seconds

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I don’t think Fish and Hunter played as big as role as people think in the resolution of the CBA. I think it was when both cats left the bargaining table, that progress was made between NBAPA’s lawyers and the League. Those clowns (Fish and Hunter) were as ill-prepaid as I’ve ever seen a union be for a lockout they knew two years in advance was coming. So let’s not make it seem like Hunter’s the NBPA’s white knight.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Cosign JT on all accounts.

  • Rainman

    Wowza.
    and yeah, cosign JTaylor

  • Heals

    Somebody please turn that damn fan off! You’re getting shht everywhere…

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Lol at Heals. Honestly, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. The Titanic is going down this offseason.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Ol’ JT21 pitches another gem.
    Allenp, The Professor, you’re up.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Also, this is just an opinion;
    Hunter isolated himself in many ways. With the owners and players, alike. Made some enemies.
    Had he gone with the grain, maybe his dirty laundry would have been kept under wraps for a little longer.
    He got full of himself against people who were smarter and more powerful than him.
    I don’t know.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Billy Hunter rolls with Don King. Yall, must of forgot. BOOK IT!!

  • T-Money

    jt – youre saying this like hunter isnt a lawyer himself with decades of experience in cba negotiations. what intel do you have that the real negs occured when he left the table (if he ever did). to my knowledge, hunter was in the room whenever ster and silver were in the room, and he initialed every single page of the new cba. / as for fisher’s audit, the exec committee rejected it because the nbpa had just been externally audited without any red flags, which made fisher’s stance frivolous at best or, at worst, a thinly veiled attack on billy hunter. fisher’s leadership has been severly questioned during the lock-out and some players feel that he wasn’t consulting his base enough (which is his job – not hunter’s). chris paul is seen as the next strong leader of the union, this may just be fisher’s last attempt to save his job.

  • Buujangles

    DFish needed to step up and dropped the ball. SMH. Replace him with CP3!

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Keyon dooling is on the executive committee?!?!

  • Stevea

    Not sure if you’ve seen, but Billy’s total compensation as compared to the rest of the union employees is just incredible. He earns 46% of all compensation, with a total disbursements of $13,361,183 over a five year period as compared to $15,796,762 for the rest of the employees.

    Compared to other leagues, the NFLPA’s Upshaw and Smith share an 18% compensation and MLBPA’s Weiner and Fehr share a 10% compensation.

    How is Hunter getting away with this?

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    @T-Money: the finances were audited by a firm with ties to Hunter. Therein lies the problem. What does he have to hide that he so badly refuses to open the books to neutral parties? The eight players on the executive committee were convinced by Hunter that everything was done properly. They have no more evidence that it was on the up and up than Fisher has that it wasn’t. I’ve yet to read one comment from anyone who can explain why it’s so important to silence Fisher. I’ve yet to read about the rest of the league wanting Fisher out as much as Hunter and his eight players.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Lix: his percentage of compensation.

  • T-Money

    Stevea – notice how woj talks in percentages and not dollars? Thats because Billy Hunter makes 2.3 mil a year. De Smith? 1.8 Upshaw? He was making 6 mil before passing away. Weiner makes 1 mil but his predecessor, Fehr, got an 11 mil (!) parting gift. The pie is just bigger in the other unions, everybody is spinning. / lix – can you elaborate on how the auditing firm had ties to hunter? Ive never heard that one.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Everybody is dirty. And T-Money is right. Woj has the best sources but he trades access for slant. Like most successful reporters who depend on access.
    Hunter was.looking out for his family like Mike Shanahan, Paul Silas or Jerry Colangelo. Or Stan Kroenke and his boy the new owner of the Nuggets.
    It aint right but it is not surprising. Hunter is shady and Fisher is shady. They both have agendas.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    ) – it’s because of this ” and NBPA president Derek Fisher refusing to use his authority to demand Garrity be allowed to speak over Hall’s yelling – Garrity left the room, left the NBPA and never returned again” – Fisher’s lack of control over what happened is one reason why. He played the quiet one, when he needed to do the opposite.

  • http://slamonline.com it

    Never trust hair like that.

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    @T-Money: The outside law firms and internal counsel used by the union happen to include Hunter’s daughter (internal counsel) and daughter in-law, who is employed by a firm Hunter contracts for union business. The fact that he only revealed the extent of his family’s involvement last week when confronted about it doesn’t look good. Fish wants an outside party to review finances. What’s wrong with that? @Allenp: I dont condone nepotism at all when it comes employees working for non-family owned businesses. That having been said, none of those cases involved one person insulating themselves with family members who deal with the vast finances of a major business. Soliciting millions in union funds for your son’s troubled investment firm goes beyond hiring your son as an assistant coach or manager. Getting angry when you’re questioned about makes it go from bad to worse. I’m not saying Fisher is some angel. I’m just saying trying to silence him smells really funny.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Stan Kroenke gave his team to his 30-year old son.
    Paul Silas has allowed his kid to coach. Mike Shanahan made his kid offensive e coordinator.
    If the person is competent it makes sense if not it is a.problem.
    I would hire my qualified family before I hired a stranger. Are you saying you wouldn’t?
    That said Hunter sounds.shady. so I am not defending him.

  • BRYANT BYNUM GASOL 24 17 16

    Billy hunter should be fired not fisher

  • Ali

    I’ve been saying Fish has been on point all along! Now everybody can see why Hunter thought there was no need to look at the NBAPA’s finances, then he tries to fire Fish for wanting to look. Another issue is why didn’t Garrity tell someone about this years ago!? Damn shame!

  • T-Money

    lix: you’re mixing up things, we’re talking about a financial audit done by an accounting firm. i haven’t seen anywhere that hunter’s relatives were involved in that.

  • Dave

    Pat Garrity, we hardly knew ye. Way to do your job.

    Unfortunately, it would not surprise me if the union leadership would rather be robbed by a black man than saved by a white man. Human nature at its worst.

    As for the people likening this to other examples of nepotism: When you own a team or a business and give your kid a job, he’s playing with your money. Not someone else’s. Get the difference?

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @Allenp – Hunter’s agendas seems fairly straightforward, but what’s Fisher’s agenda?

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Union committee voted 8-0 to remove president Derek Fisher, then this story comes out. It’s so personal.

  • bike

    It’s really up to the players to decide whether they want to have Hunter to continue to represent them. This one incident by itself is probably not that big of a deal but it perpetuates a narrative that indicates Hunter may not have the player’s best interests in mind.

  • http://abcnews.go.com/US/seattle-arrest-questions-cops-dash-cams/story?id=15595576 Allenp

    Dave
    If you hire a qualified person to do a job, and the perform, what does it matter if they are your family?
    YOu do realize that whenever companies make hiring decisions its often about stuff other than your resume or ability to do the job competently,right?
    But, since you thought it wasn’t surprising that a white man would have to save the union from a thieving black man, I’m pretty sure we can all guess how your mind works.
    Hiring someone because it just “feels right” is perfectly acceptable regardless of whether there is a qualified candidate.
    Hiring your qualified family, particularly if they are black, is a sign of the thieving habits of nigras.
    Gotcha.

  • http://abcnews.go.com/US/seattle-arrest-questions-cops-dash-cams/story?id=15595576 Allenp

    Ugh
    During the discussions it was leaked that Fisher was angling for a post career job with a team.
    At the time it was denied by everyone, but maybe it had some legs. Honestly, I think Fisher and Hunter have fought for power, and they disagree on how the union should be run. This situation is similar to what happened during the lockout with team finances.
    The League said the books had been audited and approved and they shouldn’t have to release everything tot he players or public. Fans agreed.
    Hunter and the players said that was the only way they could get a true picture because audited books don’t always present the full picture.
    In this situation Hunter is saying an audit was done and things are fine. Fisher is saying let us see all the books period.
    It’s weird how the fan reaction has been so different in the different situations.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    wow

  • CubicleWorker

    The league did show the financial statements to the union during the lockout, they didn’t release them to the public because the NBA is a private enterprise and therefore they are not obliged to do so. From what I read Fisher was asking for an audit from a LEGAL firm to report on business practices. The audit Hunter is talking about is likely the financial audit done from an accounting firm. Although there could be similarities or overlaps in the process the two audits have distinctly seperate motives.

    Regardless, there doesn’t seem to be any illegal activity for Hunter assigning jobs to family members assuming those members were qualified for the job. The problem is that these facts should have been known to union representatives and those members with a voting power. Without disclosure of that information Billy Hunter has put himself in a very rough position and will likely not be in the same position one year from now.

  • 602Shorty

    @Allenp: A company that is family owned will indeed go to a competent relative. That’s different from a guy running a business that he doesn’t own and giving jobs to family, competent or not. It’s inappropriate. It sends the message that a familial relationship is required in order to win employment. Nepotism is looked down on for a reason. Personally I wouldn’t hire family at my bank. I don’t want it used against me in the future. Hunter’s son’s firm was in trouble with the regulatory body governing his field. That doesn’t sound competent to me. When you own your own business, do what you want. But no one has a right to secretly intrust family with the business of others. The fact that he kept all this to himself is more than enough to not only question his ethics, but an audit of the entire financial picture. @ T-Money: Where did you get your info that the audit was done internally? No aarticle anywhere states that. The only thing you can assume is that Hunter had his people do it because the fact that Fisher wants an “outside” audit implies that it wasn’t done by an “outsider”.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @Allenp: I imagine Fisher is looking for a job with a team – but I’m not sure that arguing for financial transparency from the union and from teams is going to endear him to potential NBA employers. To be honest, Fisher seems far too straight to have any agenda to me.

  • http://twitter.com/kreider65 Blanche Starbong

    Buh bye, Guillermo.

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