Just months after the National Basketball Players Association and its executive director Billy Hunter (right, in photo) concluded grueling negotiations with the NBA to save the current season, Hunter and the NBPA is reportedly being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York because of financial improprieties involving Hunter and his family.
An exhaustive report on Yahoo alleged that Hunter used the player’s association and its money to direct millions of dollars to his family members and their business associates over the years. The Yahoo story accuses Hunter of using union money to pay his family members almost $4.8 million over the last decade and to try to lobby the player’s association to invest millions in a failing bank for which his son Todd Hunter sat on the board of directors. The union has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney and asked to turn over documents as part of the investigation.
Hunter claims he has done nothing illegal and isn’t afraid of the inquiry, but when union president Derek Fisher (left, in above photo) called for an audit of the union’s finances, he was asked to resign. In a statement, Fisher said the union was trying to protect Hunter and the NBPA management instead of fighting for the players.
In a column on The Huffington Post, NBA veteran and executive board member Etan Thomas issued a public plea for Hunter and Fisher to sit down together and settle their differences face-to-face, rather than airing them in the media.
“Please don’t start mud slinging at each other in an ugly public display to tear down each other’s legacy and reputation,” Thomas wrote.