LeBron James was one of several players to call for Billy Hunter’s firing, but that was already a done deal when NBA players met and officially relieved their long-time executive director of his duties.
James, who previously had taken a limited role in union affairs, was joined by the Nets’ Jerry Stackhouse and Denver’s Andre Iguodala on Saturday as being among the most outspoken players in demanding change at the top.
“To his credit, LeBron asked a lot of questions concerning Hunter’s legal problems," said one person who was briefed by several players on the meeting. “But really, everyone’s minds were made up before the meeting.
“LeBron stayed longer than he needed to. He called for Billy’s firing. But so did Jerry Stackhouse and Andre Iguodala and several other players. LeBron was very good talking about the need for players to do more with the union and to have more representation."

Hunter claimed after the meeting, which he was not invited to attend, that he has not been given a fair hearing to defend himself. Nonetheless, players voted 24-0 to fire him, but he is considering legal action to get the remaining $10.5 million on his contract. The legality of the contract, which was for five years at $15 million, is one of several key issues hounding Hunter, 70, who was in his 17th season as union chief.
The NBA Players’ Association is not expected to hire a replacement for Hunter until the late summer, at the earliest.
Players union president Derek Fisher confirmed that Hunter is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s office, the New York State attorney general and the Department of Labor for potential criminal wrongdoing involving some of his past business practices, including overseeing the union’s charitable foundation.
Because of his actions that led to a scathing internal review of the union’s business practices and galvanized opposition against Hunter before players descended on Houston for All-Star Weekend, the union’s executive committee of players wants to redo its constitution. That will possibly delay the hiring of Hunter’s successor even longer, since players are not scheduled to convene until late June or early July.


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