Billy Hunter Fired His Family Members from the NBA Players Association

by January 29, 2013

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.”