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NBA Players Union Votes to Fire Executive Director Billy Hunter

Billy Hunter was fired as executive director of the National Basketball Association players union, one month after an audit of the organization’s finances concluded he put personal interest ahead of the organization.

The decison was made unanimously by player representatives from all 30 NBA teams during meetings at a Houston hotel prior to tomorrow’s All-Star Game and announced at a news conference. The 70-year-old former federal prosecutor was not allowed to address players at the meeting.

“Today is a day of change,” union President Derek Fisher said at the news conference.

The audit concluded that Hunter’s actions, though not illegal, were ill-advised. That included improper management of his conflicts of interest and failure to reveal his $3 million- a-year contract wasn’t properly ratified.

Hunter was placed on indefinite paid leave on Feb. 1 following the audit conducted by the New York law firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.

Under Hunter’s guidance, the average NBA player’s salary has grown past $5 million, the highest in U.S. team sports.

NBPA staff attorney Ron Klempner was chosen Feb. 1 to serve as interim executive director until a permanent successor to Hunter is selected.

To contact the reporters on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in Houston at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net; Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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