NBPA Executive Billy Hunter Responds to Corruption Allegations

Alex KayCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14:  Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association speaks at a press conference after National Basketball Players Association  met to discuss the current CBA offer at Westin Times Square on November 14, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

There’s been talk that the National Basketball Players Association will oust executive director Billy Hunter at some point during the league’s All-Star Weekend in Houston.

In what looks to be an attempt to save his job and credibility, the disgraced union head is firing back at the allegations against his business practices—some which may be potentially criminal.

According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, Hunter—who has been at the helm of the NBPA since 1996—recently released a 21-page rebuttal to the 469-page Paul-Weiss report that concluded he made questionable hires, mismanaged the union and made other poor decisions during his tenure.

The response alleges that the Paul-Weiss document is “rife with inaccuracies” and isn’t objective, while offering to dispute the report “point-by-point” if deemed necessary.

Hunter also feels that it’s disappointing he’s not going to be able to defend himself at the NBPA hearing in Houston this weekend, as his attorney stated (as per Berger):

When a law firm spends $5 million digging through 17 years of someone's life and interviews more than three dozen people, fairness dictates that the person be allowed an opportunity to respond in person to the people who are most concerned.

Considering Hunter still has $10.5 million remaining on the contract he extended back in 2010, he has every reason to fight for his job. Even if he winds up losing it, his attorneys will be fighting for him to remain on the payroll.

They apparently plan to argue that if Hunter were “terminated without cause,” he would be owed the remainder of his contract—which was supposed to run up in 2016.

One of the main issues still unaccounted for is the NBPA’s five-year, $600,000 annual deal with Prim Capital, a financial firm run by Hunter’s son, Todd.

This arrangement is reportedly under investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s office and details are hard to come by, with Paul-Weiss remaining mum as to not jeopardize a potential case.

Hunter did not dispute this, although he did change his policy, cut ties with Prim and took all family members off the union payroll.

It will be interesting to see how things shake out this weekend when it comes to the direction of the NBPA and Hunter’s future with the union.