Union chief Billy Hunter placed on indefinite leave

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On Tuesday, The New York Times reportedthat agent Arn Tellem wrote a letter to his many clients, asking  them to vote for Hunter’s ouster at an NBPA meeting at All-Star Weekend. Hunter and Fisher were at obvious odds during the 2011 lockout.

The uproar over Hunter stems from financial indiscretions allegedly found through an independent investigation by a law firm hired by the NBPA executive committee. The bullet points are here, but they basically conclude that Hunter allegedly used union funds for everything from overbilling to bad investments to lining the corporate pockets of relatives.

Also Tuesday, Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Daily reported (subscription required) that seven of the nine seats on the NBPA’s executive committee would be up for election at the union’s All-Star Weekend meeting because they are currently filled by players ineligible to hold them, according to the union’s bylaws.

Hunter has been NBPA executive director since 1996, negotiating new collective bargaining agreements in 1999 following a lockout, 2005 and 2011 following a lockout. The consensus is he gave away too much in the most recent CBA after retaining several key elements in 2005.

Given Hunter’s potential impending ouster and David Stern’s announced retirement effective Feb. 2014, both NBA labor and management will have new representation at the next round of collective bargaining.

That will not be until 2017 at the earliest, when both sides have the ability to opt out. Hopefully, that will be enough time for the union to get its house in order.

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