The National Basketball Players Association will be looking for a new executive director after removing Billy Hunter from the same position via a vote, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Billy Hunter has been voted out as NBPA executive director, sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 16, 2013
Player reps voted in decisive manner to oust Hunter, sources tell Y! LeBron James spoke in meeting, insisting the union needed overhaul.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 16, 2013
Wojnarowski also let us know just how decisive this vote was:
The NBPA player rep vote on Billy Hunter's ouster was 24-0, sources tell Y! Apparently, six teams weren't represented at meeting.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 16, 2013
Derek Fisher had strong words in regard to Hunter's removal, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:
Fisher: "We will no longer be divided, misled, misinformed. This is our union. We're taking it back." They also would not answer questions.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) February 16, 2013
Hunter, who has been a rep for the players for 16 years, had been involved in some controversy of late that led to an indefinite leave of absence.
According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, Hunter was allegedly using his position to help give his family members business, and he did a poor job managing the union.
Both of those allegations came in a report released last month that was the major catalyst for Hunter's removal on Saturday.
Hunter did deny those allegations and fought to keep his job. Here is his statement in regard to the report against him that was previously released before this decision, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports:
In a statement, one of Hunter's attorneys, Michael Carlinsky, said, "The evidence does not show that Mr. Hunter embezzled, or stole money from the NBPA. The report also does not cite to a single NBPA policy or rule that Mr. Hunter allegedly violated. The report can best be characterized as one law firm's judgment by hindsight with which we respectfully disagree."
That response has fallen on deaf ears, and the players have spoken. The embattled 70-year-old will be out of work effective Saturday.
The timing of his removal could have been better. The NBA is currently in the midst of its All-Star Weekend, with the Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout set to take place on Saturday.
The All-Star Game itself will take place on Sunday, and while this is big news, it likely won't overshadow the festivities much.
There is no word yet as to who could replace Hunter.