Nets' Stackhouse Talks Hunter Dismissal; Says Union "Alienated" NBA Superstars
Nets F and NBPA VP Jerry Stackhouse said the most important aspects of last Saturday's union meeting in Houston that resulted in the firing of Exec Dir Billy Hunter were "rehashing" the issues around the union's leadership and "making a decision to move forward," according to Tim Bontemps of the N.Y. POST. Stackhouse said, "Obviously there was a lot of things that happened over the years, but we focused on moving forward right now." Bontemps wrote the fact that Heat F LeBron James was "standing side-by-side with Stackhouse" as vocal leaders during the meeting was "a sign to the veteran that the group was already breaking away from the way it was run under Hunter’s leadership." Stackhouse: "It’s really important. Our superstars got somewhat alienated under Hunter because there was so much focus on the middle class and the lower-level guys." He added, "It was somewhat of a ‘divide-and-conquer’ (strategy) ... it sounds great that you created a (higher) average salary and all of this type of thing, but it was more (about) having more of those guys on your side, even though it’s a superstar driven league." Stackhouse leading up to Saturday's meeting also had been "vocal in his criticism" of NBPA President Derek Fisher. Stackhouse "didn’t take back those criticisms" yesterday, but he indicated that removing Hunter was the "biggest issue ... in order to begin reshaping the way the union goes about its business." Stackhouse: "These next three or four months are going to be big for us to try to start the rebuilding process." He added that "now -- with Hunter expected to try and fight his dismissal -- wasn’t the time to totally blow up the system, but instead to begin a transitional period where some of those changes can be made, with more expected in the coming months" (NYPOST.com, 2/19).