Player Reps Never Approved Hunter’s Contract

January 17 2013 at 7:15am CST By Luke Adams

7:15pm: Hunter has issued a statement in response to the report, defending himself against the allegations and promising to work with NBPA officials to move forward (transcript via Ken Berger of CBSSports.com),

1:38pm: According to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News (Twitter link), the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison report on the NBA union has concluded that Hunter didn't engage in criminal acts. However, he put his own interests ahead of the union's, and the NBPA should consider whether he ought to remain the executive director.

11:36am: The player representatives for the 30 NBA teams never formally approved a $15MM contract extension for NBPA executive director Billy Hunter, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The five-year deal, which was signed in 2010, is in possible violation of the NBPA's constitution, raising questions about Hunter's future with the union.

Hunter signed the contract extension at an executive committee meeting in June of 2010, but never brought it for a vote to the 30 team player representatives. appearing to violate a section of the NBPA's consitution that Wojnarowski passes along:

"The appointment of an Executive Director, and the terms of his employment contract, must be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the combined total of all Board of Player Representatives and Executive Committee members."

As Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported earlier today, the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison has been investigating how the Players' Association has spent its money and conducted its business, and is on the verge of releasing the results. Berger suggested that many players believe it's time for a change in union leadership, and noted that several prominent agents have already begun reaching out to potential replacements for Hunter in the event that he steps down. Ronald Schechtman, the managing partner and chairman for the Pryor Cashman firm's Labor and Employment Group in New York, told Wojnarowski that the decision may not even be up to Hunter.

"They may have grounds to terminate his employment because he has no legal agreement," Shechtman said. "Even if he does have a binding agreement, he may have breached that agreement, and there may be cause to terminate him…. It's up to the leadership of the union to take whatever action is appropriate."

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