People are accused of nepotism all of the time. It should not be surprising to many people that NBA union executive Billy Hunter has been accused of the same thing. A person who holds a high position in a union is going to have a ton of enemies simply because of the nature of the position. The NBA Players Association is already in a certain amount of disarray it appears due to the very loud grumblings on the part of certain members who feel that Derek Fisher, the lead player representative in the union negotiating team may have been going “rogue” when he was negotiating to end the impasse between NBA owners members of the player’s association. It is just pure speculation at this point, but there are reports that several government agencies, including the Department of Justice are looking into of the business practices of the player’s association. A key part of the investigation may be loans that Hunter made to family members. Reports have Billy Hunter giving a consulting contract with the players association to his brother and Hunter possibly investing money into questionable banks that happen to have family ties. A number of people have even speculated that the only reason that the players association hired the law firm of Howrey LLP. was due to the fact that the firm employed Billy Hunter’s daughter Alexis. Howrey’s doors closed as firm and Alexis Hunter was later hired at another firm that later secured contracts with the player’s association It should be made that Billy Hunter was involved in the civil rights movement and represented several civil rights groups as an attorney. A lot of people hold Mr. Hunter in very high esteem and I do not expect him to just silently by as his character comes under attack. What we should find out through this investigation is what exactly the rift is between Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher. Does Derek Fisher have the majority support of union members or does Billy Hunter? The question of whether former players such as Pat Garrity will be called to testify is a question that needs to be answered.
Division in the ranks of a union is not something that can be good for any union of course, but you do have to wonder whether all members were really aware of all of the negotiations surrounding the work stoppage and subsequent agreement that led to a sixty fix game season. I would hope that all of this controversy can be cleared up and we continue to see the NBA build momentum off of a season where TV ratings are up and young players like Jeremy Lin have been creating a great amount of buzz.