Union chief Billy Hunter placed on indefinite leave

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NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter has been placed on indefinite leave, the first step in removing the embattled union chief from his position.

The news comes from both Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

Hunter has been temporarily replaced by union general counsel Ron Klempner.

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NBA Summer League to return to Las Vegas

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Vegas, baby, Vegas.

After a one-year hiatus due to the lockout, the NBA Summer League will return to Las Vegas in July, the league announced Tuesday.

The league will be held July 13-22 on the UNLV campus in the Thomas & Mack Center and the Cox Pavilion. Tickets go on sale June 1 and can be purchased by calling 702-739-FANS or visiting UNLVtickets.com.

Participating teams and game and broadcast schedules will be announced at a later date. Games will be shown on NBA TV and streamed on NBA.com.

The NBA’s release called the Summer League “the Strip’s hottest summer event.” That’s a stretch, but there are many worse things to do in Las Vegas in July, when its 108 in the shade.

The league began in 2004 as the Las Vegas Summer League with six teams – Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Orlando, Phoenix and Washington – playing 13 games.

In 2007, the NBA began teaming up with event organizers and have made the league much more prominent. In 2010, 22 teams played a 58-game schedule. Among the players was Jeremy Lin.

Five of the last six Rookies of the Year began their pro careers in the Las Vegas Summer League. In 2007, the Chinese national team was entered, and the D-League’s select team participated in 2009 and 2010.

Hubbard: Will ugly turn into beautiful?

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Those who thought the NBA would be plagued by inconsistency because of the nutty compressed schedule have been unpleasantly surprised. The NBA has been very consistent. All you have to do is consult the NBA roundup in your local newspaper each day.

In recent days, we’ve read that players either missed or will miss games because of:

– Strained hamstring (Charlotte’s Corey Maggette).

– Groin injuries (Chicago’s Rip Hamilton, Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey, Milwaukee’s Mike Dunleavy, New Orleans’ Trevor Ariza).

– Back injuries (Dallas’ Jason Kidd, Indiana’s Jeff Foster, Philadelphia’s Spencer Hawes).

– Calf injury (Houston’s Courtney Lee).

That’s not taking into account a variety of ankle, foot, knee and shoulder injuries that, perhaps, would have happened had the lockout not taken away so much off-season and training camp preparation. The pulls and strains are very likely a result of simply not being in game shape – especially when there are too many games that are played within 24 hours of each other.