Hunter ousted as head of NBA play­ers’ union

The Washington Post Sunday - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL -

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.

JEFF HAYNES/REUTERS

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.

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