HoopsHype Billy Hunter rumors

August 15, 2013 Updates
August 13, 2013 Updates

Stackhouse, one of seven executive committee members elected at All-Star weekend in Houston this past February -- when longtime executive director Billy Hunter was ousted -- said James' comments felt like a "kick in the stomach." "I don't think he's had any dialogue with anybody since the All-Star break, but it is what it is," Stackhouse said. "To make that statement about where we are as a union right now, he was misinformed." CBSSports.com

August 12, 2013 Updates

Interested in union matters and the direction of the NBPA, James had considered both executive committee positions comprised of players but concluded he would not have enough time at this point in his career to give the positions the necessary attention they require. James called Heat teammate and NBPA secretary-treasurer James Jones on Monday and told him of his decision. James discussed the role with several people and realized he didn't want to commit to something he couldn't focus on 100%, especially at such a critical time for the union, which needs to name a new executive director to replace Billy Hunter as well as vote for a president. USA Today Sports

July 29, 2013 Updates

In an effort to lift itself from the dysfunction and ineffectiveness of the Billy Hunter-Derek Fisher regime, the NBA players association has spent the past month identifying four candidates to succeed Hunter as executive director. Led by 18-year veteran Jerry Stackhouse, the NBPA has narrowed its options to former NBA coach and league executive Stu Jackson, Pistons legend and former NBA coach Isiah Thomas, former Madison Square Garden executive Steve Mills and Charlotte Bobcats president Fred Whitfield, FOXSports.com has learned. Sports attorney David Cornwell is said to be a longshot candidate. “I’m totally denying we are down to those four prospects,” Stackhouse told me Sunday afternoon. “Those are just four well-known guys, guys who know our business, guys who have ideas we wanted to hear from. They are not the only guys we want the search firm to vet. I haven’t even had a chance to talk with Fred Whitfield yet. I was planning to do that on Monday.” FOXSports.com

July 19, 2013 Updates

The NBA's goal of having a human growth hormone testing program in place before next season may not be possible because of the ongoing regime change taking place in the National Basketball Players Association. Former executive director Billy Hunter was fired by the players in February, but no replacement has yet been named. "Right now, (the players and union officials are) a little bit hamstrung because they're searching for an executive director," Stern said. "It's more difficult to make decisions. But we're optimistic that whatever -- we have a great program. Don't get me wrong. "We have six tests a year, all random - two are out-of-season and four in-season are authorized. We have a long list of banned substances, and we expect to have agreement on HGH whenever the union gathers because we're in this together. The union has always been very forward thinking in this…It's on a long list of items that we're hoping to discuss with the Players Association between now and the kickoff of the next season." USA Today Sports

July 4, 2013 Updates

The National Basketball Players Association, Derek Fisher and Jamie Wior on Tuesday filed motions to dismiss former NBPA executive director Billy Hunter's lawsuit against them in Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. Citing a California statute known as anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation), attorneys for the NBPA, Fisher and Wior, who is Fisher's business manager, said Hunter's suit has no merit and should be dismissed. USA Today Sports

July 3, 2013 Updates

The gall of former NBA players union head Billy Hunter is impressive. For those not following along, Hunter filed his suit against Derek Fisher, his business manager and the NBAPA in Alameda County, CA, citing that it was the appropriate venue because he did most of his business there. This, despite the fact that the NBAPA offices are in Manhattan's Harlem and Hunter had a townhome within walking distance. The reason, seemingly, for preferring the Bay Area, other than he maintains a second home there: he cut his teeth as a prosecuting attorney in Northern California and remains friendly with at least one of its judges, e-mails discovered by the NBAPA show. It is standard practice to forum-shop and find a sympathetic court but for Hunter, whose extensive vacation time was one of many reasons the NBAPA forced his ouster, it is particularly brazen to suggest he did the bulk of his work 3,000 miles away from the union's HQ. Sulia

July 2, 2013 Updates
June 17, 2013 Updates

Attorneys for Derek Fisher and his assistant filed a motion for a change of venue Monday in the lawsuit filed against them by Billy Hunter, the former executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. Among other things, the motion presented evidence of an alleged conflict of interest between Hunter and the presiding judge in the Oakland, Calif., court where the lawsuit was filed. CBSSports.com

June 16, 2013 Updates
May 31, 2013 Updates

Former MSG president Steve Mills has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Billy Hunter as the executive director of the NBA player's union, the Daily News has learned. The Princeton educated Mills, who played for legendary coach Pete Carril, is well respected among players as well as league and team executives. He is currently the CEO of Athletes & Entertainers Wealth Management Group. New York Daily News

May 27, 2013 Updates

With the playoffs going on, Billy Hunter was reluctant to file the lawsuit, but felt his reputation and ability to do business had been damaged by his ouster, according to a source. Hunter does not want to be reinstated as executive director, according to the source; the union has yet to pick his successor. Hunter claims in his lawsuit that Derek Fisher "actively manipulated" the Paul, Weiss report by making false statements to the firm's attorneys, including, in the Hunter lawsuit's wording, the charge "that Hunter had tried to bribe him to secure Fisher's support during the 2011 collective bargaining negotiations." NBA.com

May 20, 2013 Updates

National Basketball Players Association officials met with NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Don Fehr and MLB Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner last month as part of their effort to find a new head for the players union. “The process has started, and for anyone to think we are not moving forward is inaccurate,” said Jerry Stackhouse, a member of the NBPA executive committee. But Stackhouse added that players are in “no rush” to replace the former executive director, Billy Hunter. Responding to reported frustration over the pace of the selection process, Stackhouse said leaders want to take their time in rebuilding the union and involve players. “A union is, and what it should be, is for the players, and that hasn’t happened in recent times,” he said. NBPA leaders voted unanimously to fire Hunter on Feb. 16, after an independent investigation found that he had acted in his own interests and against players’ interest in running the union. Sports Business Daily

Stackhouse and Ron Klempner, who is the NBPA’s deputy general counsel and who has been acting executive director since Hunter was fired, attended a meeting with Fehr and Weiner at the MLBPA headquarters in Manhattan in April. In addition to Fehr and Weiner, Tony Clark, a former MLB first baseman who is now MLBPA director of player relations, and Mathieu Schneider, a former NHL defenseman who is now the NHLPA special assistant to the executive director, also attended the meeting. Both Fehr and Weiner confirmed that the meeting occurred but declined further comment. Fehr’s name has been mentioned as a potential successor to Hunter, but he reaffirmed last week that he intends to stay at the NHLPA. Stackhouse said he was seeking information on how unions are run, as well as the processes unions have used to elect an executive director. News of the meeting comes as some NBA agents have privately been grumbling that nothing was happening in the search for a new union leader. Stackhouse, who is represented by Excel Sports Management founder Jeff Schwartz, said that was not the case. Sports Business Daily

So Hunter claims that one of the highest-compensated players and his agent called him on Oct. 27, 2011, and said a 50-50 BRI deal had been struck with ownership and Hunter should accept it. I am not certain who that player is. I have been told by two different sources it was Kobe Bryant. Bryant and Fisher share the same agent — Rob Pelinka. Bryant and Fisher are close friends; they joined the Lakers the same year. Bryant was the NBA’s highest-paid player in 2011-12, earning $25 million. Bryant spent part of the 2011 offseason in Germany receiving experimental treatment for his arthritic knee. Given his salary, advancing age, health concerns and legendary competitive zeal, no NBA player had more reason to be desperate for an end to the lockout than Bryant. FOXSports.com

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