Embattled NBA players union chief Billy Hunter is fighting back in an attempt to keep his job.
Hunter, who was placed on indefinite leave Feb. 1 as executive director, and his attorneys released a rebuttal Friday to a report by the National Basketball Players Association questioning his leadership and management. They said he did not steal or embezzle money and should not lose his job
Hunter has not been invited to attend a board of player representatives meeting this weekend in Houston during All-Star weekend activities. The players are expected to vote on Hunter's fate.
"When a law firm spends $5 million digging through 17 years of someone's life and interviews more than three dozen people, fairness dictates that the person be allowed an opportunity to respond in person to the people who are most concerned," Hunter's attorney's posted online in the 21-page rebuttal.
The rebuttal raised concerns about the 469-page report's objectivity and accuracy. In it, Hunter's hiring practices, neoptism, conflicts of interest, negotiations of his contract and other issues were called into question.
"There were no smoke-filled backrooms or secret deals," Hunter's lawyers wrote, according to USA Today. "(Hunter's) contract extension was negotiated in the open. The executive committee, which is elected by the players, approved it. The president of the union, Derek Fisher, signed it. And there was never any attempt to hide it. Importantly, the report does not even conclude that the terms of the contract extension were unfair."
Firing Hunter would require a majority vote from the executive committee. He has held the position since 1996 and makes $3 million per year.