Former Knick Charles Smith in Legal Battle With Retired Players Association

by November 18, 2011

It’s not just current NBAers who are dealing with the court system on League matters these days, former ballers are lawyering up as well. The NY Post looks at Charles Smith’s legal battle with the National Basketball Retired Players Association: “In a letter last week, NBRPA counsel Jack Marin threatened former executive director Charles Smith with litigation. ‘It has come to our attention that you have been contacting the officers of our various chapters and numerous other association members in a manner that is disruptive, divisive and detrimental to the association. This is in violation of your duty of loyalty as a member of the association,’ began the letter from Marin, a former Bullets forward. ‘Furthermore, it appears that you are using the association’s confidential information obtained during your employment here to undertake these actions for your own personal gain. As you are aware, you are bound by your employment agreement and NBRPA employee policies to return our information and not to use it for personal reasons. You have the contact information of these members by virtue of your employment here. We ask that you honor your agreement with this charitable organization and refrain from contacting members for these purposes. Your actions may be violations of New York law as well. The board has empowered the President and CEO to take whatever legal steps necessary to protect the association’s interests. Please be assured that we are prepared to do so.’ According to those in the know, CEO Arnie D. Fielkow and president George Tinsley have reason to believe the estranged Smith has been contacting members regarding the possible start-up of a rival retired association. On Nov. 18, 2010, after two years on the job, Smith was furtively fired by Tinsley and a five-man board … Not only was Smith’s firing proceeding, by a select few, highly disputable, but the membership wasn’t given a voice or a vote. Consequently, Schayes was relieved of his duties and an election reshuffled the board. In mid-September, a comprehensive search resulted in the hiring of Fielkow, a New Orleans city council VP. Oh, yeah, in the meantime, Smith threatened to sue the NBBPA for his wrongful discharge. I don’t believe he followed through.”