Updated: 12:50 p.m. Saturday:
The ramifications of the lengthy NBA lockout can be felt in more ways than just a 66-game season and a collective bargaining agreement that left both sides relatively unhappy. An internal struggle between National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter and union President Derek Fisher has reached the point that Fisher has now been asked to resign.
Hunter and Fisher were at odds near the end of the lockout and the tension has continued to fester throughout this season. The NBPA released a statement on Friday stating that the union executive committee cast an 8-0 vote of no confidence in Fisher this week and asked him to step down, citing “conduct detrimental to the union.”
According to the statement, Fisher acted “in contravention of the players’ best interests during collective bargaining, declining to follow the NBPA Constitution, and failing to uphold the duties of the Union President.” The committee is requesting that Fisher resign to “avoid further damage to the NBPA and its 450 members.”
The executive committee is made up of Wizards swingman Maurice Evans; Celtics guard Keyon Dooling; Heat forward James Jones; San Antonio forward Matt Bonner; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul; and free agents Roger Mason Jr., Theo Ratliff and Etan Thomas. Evans confirmed to the Washington Examiner and the Washington Times after Friday’s practice that the committee wanted Fisher gone.
“From the end of the lockout to now, we have been dissatisfied with his actions. There’s been a number of actions that have been questionable,” Evans said.
Evans added that Fisher was not involved with meetings and discussions during NBA All-Star Weekend to address how the union can better serve its constituents.
Yahoo Sports reported on Thursday that Fisher refuses to step down and has attempted to gather support from players to challenge Hunter. According to SI.com, Fisher sought an internal review of the NBPA’s business practices, a review the executive committee deemed “unnecessary.”
“It seems more like a personal vendetta than it does business that needs to be conducted,” Evans said. “Again, we’re satisfied with the way the union is being run. We do feel like there are some things that can be run more efficiently, but again, we accomplished the goal at hand, which was to get a deal.”
The full statement from the NBPA is below:
On April 18th, the NBPA executive committee cast an 8-to-0 vote that it lost confidence in Derek Fisher’s ability to act as Union President, and requested Derek’s resignation.
The Executive Committee based its decision on numerous instances over the past six months, where Fisher engaged in conduct detrimental to the union, including acting in contravention of the players’ best interests during collective bargaining, declining to follow the NBPA Constitution, and failing to uphold the duties of the Union President. To avoid further damage to the NBPA and its 450 members, the Executive Board again calls for Derek’s resignation.
The NBPA performs annual financial audits and shares the results of those audits with the Executive Committee and Player Representatives at its annual meetings. The NBPA completed a financial audit in February and will share the results of the audit with the Executive Committee and Player Representatives at the union’s summer meeting.
Additionally, the NBPA conducted two business reviews following the negotiation of the 1999 and 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreements. And with the support of the entire Executive Committee, the union will conduct another business review in a timely manner.
We hope for a swift and complete resolution to these issues.