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Monday, February 18th, 2013 at 10:30 am  |  23 responses

LeBron James Helped Get NBPA Director Billy Hunter Fired


Billy Hunter, the disgraced and now former head of the NBA Players Association, met his inevitable demise this weekend (though he continues to put up a fight.) Players voted unanimously to give him the boot, and LeBron James stepped up at the moment of truth. Per the NY Times: “On Saturday afternoon, LeBron James was due at a local Boys and Girls Club, to help refurbish a gymnasium, which for James is an annual All-Star weekend tradition. The boys and girls expected James at 2:30 p.m. He arrived at 3:15. This was one case where a star athlete’s tardiness was a mark of virtue, not casual disregard. James, the N.B.A.’s reigning most valuable player, the engine of the Miami Heat’s 2012 championship, had been hunkered down in a hotel conference room, with about 40 of his fellow players, stars and nonstars alike, working diligently to repair their scandalized union. The players took a bold step Saturday, firing the union’s executive director, Billy Hunter, whose business practices are being investigated by three government agencies. The sentiment in the room was said to be unanimous, but it was driven by two forceful figures: Jerry Stackhouse, an 18-year veteran, and James, a three-time M.V.P. Amid an orgy of contrived competition, relentless marketing, tired events and semiscripted outcomes, James’s sudden civic turn was perhaps the most real moment of the weekend. ‘Well, it’s our future,’ James said Sunday after the West beat the East, 143-138, in the All-Star Game. ‘Our current state as of yesterday wasn’t in the best possible position we can be in. And that’s why Billy Hunter’s duties was relieved. And now we feel comfortable with where we’re at right now. But we got a long way to go.’ [...] In the players union, as in the N.B.A., star power matters. Aura matters. Respect matters. So when James started asking pointed questions and making pointed statements, the room took notice. James ‘practically cross-examined’ the lawyers who prepared the audit, according to someone in the room. James and Stackhouse grilled Derek Fisher about signing Hunter’s most recent contract — the one that, according to the audit, was never properly approved. They demanded explanations from the committee members who previously sided with Hunter over Fisher. ‘It was spectacular,’ said the person who was in the room. And it was unusual.”

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  • thesage

    LeSnitch

  • Happy

    The next step is making sure Fisher doesn’t pull another slick move next season by holding on to power by signing a quick contract and quitting a team. Interestingly enough, some of the same puppets of Hunter **cough cough Chris Paul** were able to maintain positions on the executive committee. Not much will change unless all remnants of the Hunter-Fisher feud are out of power within the union. Too bad smarter players like Battier don’t have more union influence.

  • Gregg Shorthand

    Oh my goodness I can’t believe I found an article on SLAM that didn’t contain a video. A good, well-written (if attention-seeking) magazine has turned into a basketball-related TMZ youtube website.

  • http://www.facebook.com/acarrus1 Alessandro Carrus

    People out to make him look like a bad guy again smh !! just stop it

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Attention-seeking magazine? Explain.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Snitch? How? Who did he snitch on? Not only corny, but also stupid.

  • Happy

    I thought the goal of all mags was to seek attention and stay afloat. (I do agree that the headlines are often unnecessarily misleading, tho.)

  • Vandellish

    Exactly.

  • shockexchange

    None of the Billy Hunter “goings on” have anything to do with his job performance, and everything to do with his questioning Fisher’s ability as Union head. In retaliation, Fisher “told what had happened” and “what he done seen or heard.” Whatever untoward behavior there was, it could’ve been stopped without him being fired – equivalent of throwing the baby out with the bath water. “Getting rid of that nefarious Billy Hunter” is going to play well in the mainstream media, not because it’s true, but because that’s what sells. If the players think otherwise, just wait until they try to outmaneuver the owners in the next CBA … see how much positive press they get then.

  • spit hot fiyah

    good job by you

  • zogs19994

    BORING AS$ ARTICLE

  • Initbruv

    Well the articles are in the magazine. Imagine that.

  • Happy

    Investing and losing 4 million dollars of the union’s money with an incompetent company–without permission or oversight from anyone else in the union–is directly tied to job performance. When you help out your son by investing that kind of union money with the company he worked for, you set yourself up for failure. There is nothing about that scenario that should be overlooked or taken lightly. Fisher is a failure on multiple levels, but to act like this is anyone other than Hunter’s own fault is ridiculous. Attitudes like that are the reason people like Hunter feel entitled to positions of power. Your attitude is the reason Wall Street execs plunder pension funds and bank funds, and when the company struggles, they fire all the little guys and keep the failures at the top. Enough with these silly slaps on the wrist for people in power. The strongest defense against so called retaliatory accusations and action is to provide no ammo. Hunter provided that and some.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Not in the magazine though. He said the magazine is attention-seeking. He should have said the website is attention-seeking if that’s what he meant. The magazine’s reputation speaks for itself. No need to seek attention.

  • shockexchange

    I think you and the Shock Exchange are in agreement. There has been too many execs receiving “a slap on the wrist.” Let’s start by making an example of Billy Hunter. The Shock Exchange wonders why the marketplace decided the buck stops with Billy … as the theme from Jeopardy plays ad in finitum …

  • me

    This cat must b related to bron or something…

  • Matt

    Do you really talk in third person…on the internet??

  • shockexchange

    You know why the Shock Exchange talks in third person … on the Internet? Because when he gets on the hardwood and steps over half court, he’s in range. Now go run tell that.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Says the dude who couldn’t come up with a better name than “me”.

  • bike

    LeBron knows a 14-carat dickhead when he sees one.

  • The Philosopher

    Shock is TOO cool, man. Lol…

  • The Philosopher

    The King.
    LONG… LIVE… THE KING!!

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Former NBPA Head Billy Hunter Sues Union and Derek Fisher

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