Recently placed on indefinite leave, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter is prepared to actively pursue efforts to keep his job in the next coming days as the annual player's meeting is set to take place this weekend in Houston (Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today). Facing accusations of nepotism and questions about the approval of his contract, Hunter and his lawyers are prepared to refute the independent report conducted by the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which says that he failed to properly put the interests of the Union above his personal interests.
"There's no there there…This is an effort to make zero plus zero plus zero equal one," said Corey Worcestor, one of Hunter's lawyers who asserts that his client had done nothing wrong and acted in accordance with union bylaws.
This article from NBA.com indicates that while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison originally planned to release a supplement to their original report, the New York law firm will hold off for now being that the government is now conducting its own investigation.
Zillgitt writes that the players will need a majority vote from the executive committee in order to fire Hunter, with or without cause. According to his contract, firing with cause would involve finding him guilty of "embezzlement, theft, larceny, material fraud or other acts of dishonesty." In this case, Hunter would be paid for the remainder of the year. Should he be fired without cause, Hunter would accrue all of what he is owed under his current contract, which isn't thought to be a consideration among the players union at this point. Zillgitt also adds the opinion of Geoffrey Rapp, a sports law expert and professor at the Toledo College of Law, who says that the players would likely only focus on the "acts of dishonesty" phrase being that Hunter hasn't been accused of committing embezzlement, theft, or larceny.
According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, J.J. Redick, who serves as the Magic's acting representative to the Union, along with the rest of his teammates in Orlando believe that Hunter's time as executive director is up:"I think most everyone in the NBA has reached the same conclusion, and that’s that we need some change.”
Kyle Korver, who is the Hawks' representative, also weighed in: "I think one of the weaknesses so far at this point has been a lack of communication. I think a lot of us were taken by surprise by a lot of things that supposedly have been found."
While Hunter is expected to release a statement to defend himself, the New York law firm plans to present information directly to union membership this weekend in Houston.