Billy Hunter Files Lawsuit Against NBPA, Fisher

Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News Sports tweeted that former player's union executive director Billy Hunter has filed a lawsuit against the NBPA, union president Derek Fisher, and Jamie Wior (Fisher's publicist), claiming defamation and a breach of contract. Ken Berger of CBS Sports elaborated further on the matter, reporting that the suit includes allegations accusing Fisher and Wior of secretly conspiring with "certain owners" (not identified in the suit) to negotiate the conclusion of the 2011 lockout and that their actions ultimately led to the termination of Hunter's contract with the NBPA.

Hunter's lawsuit contends that Fisher "actively manipulated the investigation" conducted by the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison law firm "by making false statements impugning Hunter's character." The document also questions why Hunter's employment contract from 2010 was deemed invalid by the Paul-Weiss firm considering that Fisher – whose signature on Hunter's termination letter indicates that he had authorization to hire Hunter – had signed it.

Expanding on the accusation that Fisher had secretly worked with several NBA owners in order to end the lockout, the lawsuit includes that Hunter received a telephone call from "one of the highest paid players and his agent" nearly a month before the actual agreement was reached and was notified that a deal had already been agreed upon with the owners. At that point, it is alleged that Hunter was then told by the player and agent to accept the terms and end the lockout. Hunter's party also contends that Fisher had negotiated the 50-50 split of league revenue "without consulting with Hunter or the Executive Committee."

Among some of the rest of the charges listed in the lawsuit, Fisher is accused of "(inserting) himself into the collective bargaining process to the detriment of the union" and that he "was incentivized to complete a deal as quickly as possible given his limited playing career and need to secure his future job prospects by staying on good terms with the NBA and team owners." It also brings into question the active role of Jamie Wior, who Hunter asserts had no authority to become involved with or assist Fisher with the negotiations of the CBA. At the very minimum, Hunter is seeking the rest of the money owed to him at the time his contract was terminated, not including compensatory and punitive damages. 

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