Shane Battier Wants Billy Hunter’s Salary to Be $1 During NBA Lockout

by June 30, 2011
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Like the NFL’s union leader DeMaurice Smith did, Shane Battier wonders aloud if Billy Hunter should do the same. Billy was reportedly not amused by the suggestion: “After Kevin Garnett delivered an inspired sermon in the NBA players union meeting a week ago, declaring his willingness to sit out the season and forfeit $18.8 million in salary, a far more measured voice spoke up with 60 rank-and-file players in a New York hotel ballroom. Shane Battier’s question, directed to Players Association executive director Billy Hunter, was simple: The NFL’s union leader, DeMaurice Smith, had agreed to take $1 in salary for the length of the NFL lockout. The mere suggestion seemed to offend Hunter, players witnessing the exchange privately told Yahoo! Sports. After Hunter told Battier he hadn’t given it much thought, members of the union’s executive board came to Hunter’s defense. Hunter had taken the union from the red to the black in his term, done a good job, they said. Hunter never did give Battier a firm answer, nor would he answer the question for Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday. Salary can be a touchy subject within pockets of the union, especially since it leaves some questioning the urgency and motivation for Hunter to work for a deal. Two years ago, Hunter had gone to the Players Association and asked that he be compensated for several years’ worth of unused vacation time. There was resistance to the request, but eventually the union board agreed to award him $1.1 million, the Sports Business Journal reported. Hunter makes a little more than $2 million a year as the union’s executive director.”