NBPA executive director Billy Hunter says he will defend his reputation as union chief. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
NBPA executive director Billy Hunter said on Wednesday that he defends his record and reputation as union chief and would not go down without a fight despite the NBA players having little or no support for him.
Hunter, 70, was placed on indefinite leave last week by the union since the release of an independent audit last month that found fault with his business and hiring practices. The player's union plans to meet next weekend at the All-Star Game in Houston to discuss Hunter's future.
The independent audit found no criminal wrongdoing by Hunter, although it concluded that he had failed in his fiduciary obligations and had put personal and family gain ahead of union interests — judgments that Hunter vehemently protested.
"I haven’t spoken to anybody since,” Hunter said Wednesday to the New York Times. "It’s had a negative impact on my family. It’s been very stressful. And I obviously worry about their health. I worry about the impact it’s had on my wife. I think pretty much my family looks at me, as long as they see me continuing to be strong, then they kind of take solace in that. But it hasn’t been an easy walk, I can say that to you.”
Hunter has been denied all access to union resources, can't talk to players or union personnel, and was even escorted out by security guards when he tried to enter the union’s headquarters in New York City.