Without getting into specifics and — even worse — business terms: NBA Union Chief Billy Hunter sucks. He’s been accused of using the Union for personal gain and hiring his family to high-profile positions.
Arn Tellem, possibly the most powerful player agent in the NBA, sent a 1,500 word letter to each of his clients on Monday night, urging them to speak out against Hunter at next month’s All-Star festivities. Tellem put the majority of the letter in bullet-point form, because, you know, they’re NBA players:
* Mr. Hunter abused his position by hiring family members and by conducting business with friends and family that enriched his cronies at the expense of the players. In one instance, he tried to invest several million dollars of union funds into a failing New Jersey bank with business ties to his son without ever disclosing the family connection to the Executive Committee or player representatives.
* Mr. Hunter spent more than $300,000 in union funds exploring a series of ill-considered investments, including an energy drink company, real estate projects and a mixed martial arts fighting league in Japan.
* Mr. Hunter improperly lavished more than $100,000 in union funds on gifts for outgoing union presidents and executive committee members.
* Mr. Hunter billed players $1.3 million for unused vacation time without adequate documentation or oversight.
* In 2010 Mr. Hunter rammed through the NBPA executive committee a five-year contract extension for himself reportedly worth as much as $18 million. In violation of the union’s constitution and bylaws, the extension was never approved by the player reps, a fact that Mr. Hunter was aware of and chose to ignore.
* To suppress challenges to his authority, Mr. Hunter routinely intimidated players and union staff. He also stopped players from speaking freely about his conflicts of interest.
* Mr. Hunter told investigators that his son’s firm, Prim Capital, had no written contract with the NBPA. Yet a potentially fraudulent contract guaranteeing an annual $600,000 payment to Prim Capital turned up last week.
One of the players that Tellem sent this letter to is Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. Coincidentally, on Tuesday night, Perkins was just sitting around thinking random thoughts:
Sitting here thinking about the future of our league and I really think its time for a change with our unions leadership #random
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 30, 2013