Hunter ousted as head of NBA players’ union
houston — Billy Hunter was ousted unanimously as executive director of the union by NBA players, who said Saturday they will “no longer be divided, misled, misinformed.”
“This is our union and we have taken it back,” players’ association President Derek Fisher said.
Fisher said it was a day of change for the union, which has seemed inevitable since a review of the union last month was critical of Hunter’s leadership and urged players to consider whether they wanted to keep him. They didn’t. “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.”
In brief remarks, Fisher said a new executive committee was elected and he will remain as president. The Spurs’ Matt Bonner is vice president, Miami’s James Jones is secretary-treasurer and the Nets’ Jerry Stackhouse the first vice president. The Clippers’ Chris Paul, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Denver’s Andre Iguodala, the Hornets’ Roger Mason, Jr. and the Clippers’ Willie Green are vice presidents.
Hunter had led the union since 1996, guiding the players through three collective bargaining agreements and helping bring their average salaries to more than $5 million, highest in team sports. But Fisher pushed for the review after a falling out between the two leaders, and though it found Hunter wasn’t guilty of any criminal activity involving union funds, it cited him for a number of conflicts of interests and poor choices that led the players to remove him.
Released in January, the review conducted by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP criticized Hunter for hiring family members and friends. It said he knew his 2010 contract extension wasn’t properly ratified by union rules, and raised questions about everything from travel expenses to the amount he spent on gifts.
Irving is three-point king
Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving beat San Antonio’s Matt Bonner to win the three-point contest during All-Star Saturday Night.
Irving, who will play in his first all-star game on Sunday, started 7 for 7 in the final round and finished with 23 points — two shy of the record shared by Craig Hodges and Jason Kapono. Bonner finished with 20 points in the final round.
Irving, who also played in Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge, had 18 points in the first round.
Earlier, Portland rookie Damian Lillard won the Skills Competition and Chris Bosh, Swin Cash and Dominique Wilkins won the Shooting Stars event.
From left, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, LeBron James and Blake Griffin watch a young fan dance while wearing a James jersey during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend festivities on Saturday in Houston.