SBD/January 30, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Hunter Dismisses Family Members From NBPA Roles Two Weeks After Critical Report

Hunter in a letter to players said the NBPA would adopt conflict of interest policies
NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter “purged family members from union roles after a report was critical of nepotism at the organization,” according to Scott Soshnick of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The moves to dismiss personnel "including his daughter and daughter-in-law were disclosed in a letter from Hunter to members of a special committee of players established prior to the investigation.” Hunter in the letter wrote that one of his daughters, Robyn Hunter, “ceased working at the union on Jan. 25.” NBPA Dir of Special Events & Sponsorships Megan Inaba, Hunter’s daughter-in-law, “will leave on Feb. 17” after the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. Billy Hunter also “secured a letter of resignation from Prim Capital, which employs his son, Todd.” Another of Hunter's daughters, Alexis, is a “special counsel at a law firm used by the union," but his letter “didn’t refer" to her. The changes came about two weeks after the investigation of the NBPA's business practices found that Hunter "put personal interests ahead of the association, failed to manage conflicts of interest, and didn’t have proper approval for his five-year, $15 million contract as director.” Hunter’s letter to the committee said that the NBPA “would adopt policies related to conflicts of interest, hiring and document retention.” It also said that he “would eliminate unspecified positions at the union and adjust the salaries of others to bring them in line with market rates” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/29).

LETTER FOR LETTER: In N.Y., Howard Beck reports Wasserman Media Group Vice Chair and NBA player agent Arn Tellem is “calling for the ouster” of Hunter, a step Tellem is “urging his clients to take" during the annual players meeting at NBA All-Star Weekend. Tellem “outlined his position in a 1,500-word letter sent to his players Monday night.” Tellem in the letter “blasts Hunter’s record” as the union's leader and “accuses him of using the union for personal gain.” Tellem wrote, “NBA players deserve better representation from the union they fund. I implore you and your fellow players to take control of your union and your future. It’s time for Mr. Hunter to go.” Beck notes Tellem is the “first major agent to call for Hunter’s dismissal,” and Tellem's "influence is considerable.” Tellem “seems likely to find significant support for the stand he is taking, given the intense disdain for Hunter that several other major agents share with Tellem.” WMG represents "about 50 current players, about 12 percent of the union’s membership, more than any other agency" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/30).
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