Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 at 1:55 pm  |  8 responses

Billy Hunter Fired His Family Members from the NBA Players Association

The embattled Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the NBA Players Association, has seen better days. With his leadership under constant attack — from players, powerful agents, the media and fans — Hunter responded by firing members of his own family from their union gigs. The drastic move comes after multiple reports accused Billy Hunter of nepotism and questioned some of the spending within the organization. Reports Bloomberg: “The moves against personnel including his daughter and daughter-in-law were disclosed in a letter from Hunter to members of a special committee of players established prior to the investigation by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison [...] The New York-based union paid almost $4.8 million to Hunter’s family members and their professional firms since 2001, according to public records. Hunter makes $3 million a year as union chief. ‘Hopefully this decision will alleviate any concerns raised by their employment,’ Hunter wrote in the letter. ‘These measures are being taken although the report noted that both of them were highly qualified, not overpaid, and were contributing members of the NBPA staff.’ Robyn Hunter, the director’s daughter, ceased working at the union on Jan. 25, according to the letter. Megan Inaba, his daughter-in-law and director of special events and sponsorships, will leave on Feb. 17 after the National Basketball Association’s All-Star weekend. Hunter, 70, also secured a letter of resignation from Prim Capital, which employs his son, Todd. [...] The changes come about two weeks after the independent investigation of the union’s business practices found that Hunter, the organization’s leader since 1996, put personal interests ahead of the association, failed to manage conflicts of interest, and didn’t have proper approval for his five-year, $15 million contract as director. The investigation by Paul, Weiss also concluded that Hunter didn’t do anything illegal. It said players should consider a change in leadership. Hunter’s letter to the committee, comprised of James Jones of the Miami Heat, Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs, Anthony Tolliver of the Atlanta Hawks and Matt Carroll and Etan Thomas, who aren’t currently on rosters, also said the union would adopt policies related to conflicts of interest, hiring and document retention.”

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  • Lorne

    Their firing is confirmation of two things for me.

    1. Billy Hunter hired them based purely on nepotism. You don’t fire employees that excel at their jobs, even if they’re family. If he truly felt confident in their credentials and performance, he’d have retained them. They obviously got their jobs because they were fam, and he’s trying to save his @ss.

    2. Billy Hunter will do whatever he can to retain his position within the union. He knows he overstepped his bounds in multiple ways. This was little more than a PR stunt. Between the unapproved fat contract he gave himself, the nepotism, and his willy-nilly use of union funds, he knows he can be removed. He violated union rules so his contract may not be binding.

  • Dutch Rich

    Wow, now he’s throwing his kin overboard.

  • JoeMaMa

    This guy is a thief. If you read the report by the law firm, they basically say, “he technically didn’t break the law, but he’s acted immorally, irresponsibly, etc., etc., etc…” The players need to get off their rear ends and look into the union leadership that represents them. Otherwise I have no pity on them the next time the owners bend them over. Billy Hunter is a complete joke and schemer. And cosign Lorne – you don’t fire qualified people unless there’s just cause.

  • spit hot fiyah

    couldn’t agree more. hunter seems like a habitual line stepper. shout out to Charlie Murphy (pancakes)

  • z

    Hunter is trying to gain favor for the upcoming union meeting during All-Star weekend…This whole debacle with him made me feel less and less sorry for the players when it comes to battling with the owners. Some have admitted publicly to not really knowing what’s going on. If they don’t care to know what’s happening with their own union dues, why should we? The Executive Committee initially followed Hunter to silence Fisher by asking him to step down. Now all of this comes out and they look stupid for trusting him blindly. This is why there should be time limits for people in power. It’s addictive.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    hunter should be fired, snake

  • Lupe

    Just another employed person of color who got a job they weren’t qualified for and are probably too incompetent to handle. Like putting a white dude in charge of a HBCU. Yeah, they might have the resume, but the fit doesn’t work from the jump. So, either put in someone who is of color and actually knows the job and will stand up for the players, or put a white (non-jew) in there. Its ok I promise.

  • z

    Drop dead you simpleton idiot. Whites aren’t entitled to every job on earth, and color has nothing to do with this situation. When it comes to nepotism, nobody practices it more than whites anyway so if you’re gonna bring race into this discussion start with that point first loser.