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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