NBA players' union chief placed on leave

05 February 2013 09:10

The NBA Players Association said Friday that union chief Billy Hunter has been placed on indefinite leave following an independent report detailing shoddy business practices on his part.

"Unfortunately, it appears that union management has lost sight of the NBPA's only task, to serve the best interests of their membership," said union president Derek Fisher, a veteran guard who signed with Dallas as a free agent this season but was released on December 22.

Fisher, who was among those calling for the review into Hunter's management of the union, said the findings "confirm this unfortunate truth and we must now move forward as players."

The report issued by the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison found no evidence of illegal use of union funds, but found that Hunter withheld knowledge that his contract wasn't properly approved.

The review also found that he used poor judgment in hiring -- including the hiring of relatives -- and spent improperly on travel and gifts.

The union said Friday that it will form an interim executive committee and an advisory committee, and also hire outside lawyers to "ensure an orderly and appropriate meeting of the player representatives at All Star Weekend."

With Hunter on indefinite leave of absence, Ron Klempner, the union's deputy general counsel, was to be appointed acting executive director.

Hunter has been executive director of the union since 1996. He clashed with Fisher during and after the acrimonious NBA lockout that shortened last season.

Source: DSG