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Billy Hunter Voted Out As Head Of NBA Players’ Union

Billy Hunter Fired
Patrick McDermott, Getty Images

NBA players unanimously voted to remove executive director Billy Hunter as head of their union on Saturday. Player support for Hunter waned after an independent report last month indicated that he could have misused NBPA funds, engaged in nepotism and had his contract renewed in 2010 without following proper union rules.

National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher announced the results of the vote in Houston, the site of the NBA All-Star festivities.

“We want to make it clear that we are here to serve only the best interests of the players,” Fisher said. “No threats, no lies, no distractions will stop us from serving our memberships.”

Fisher announced a full executive committee of current players, including the Spurs’ Matt Bonner as vice president, the Heat’s James Jones as secretary-treasurer and the Nets’ Jerry Stackhouse as first vice president.

Hunter, 70, who was on indefinite leave of absence since the earlier report broke, defended his actions and denied the allegations on Friday morning. He responded to his firing, though he said he had yet to be officially notified.

“If accurate, it is indicative of the extremely troubling process followed by the NBPA during the past few weeks,” he said in a statement. “During the days and weeks ahead, my legal team and I will begin carefully reviewing the actions taken and statements made against me in the meeting room in my absence. I look forward to gathering the evidence showing how certain individuals made sure the outcome was preordained.”

Hunter led the union through three collective bargaining agreements with the league since 1996.

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