Former National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter sued the union, President Derek Fisher and his publicist on Thursday, charging they sabotaged Hunter's efforts to reach a new labor agreement with the league, according to multiple reports.
Filed in California Superior Court in Oakland, the lawsuit accuses Fisher and his publicist, Jamie Wior, of working on a covert deal to end the 2011 lockout, which would be a breach of Hunter's employment contract with the players' association.
Hunter was fired as the union's executive director in February after 16 years, with player representatives from 24 of the 30 NBA teams in Houston for All-Star weekend voting for his removal.
"Once the lockout ended with an agreement in line with the owners' demands, Fisher and Wior waged a campaign to terminate his employment without cause and in violation of his contract," the lawsuit alleges, according to a press release from Hunter's attorneys.
Hunter is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages based on his firing, at the time of which he was owed $10.5 million in salary through 2015, according to CBS Sportsline.
"It's unfortunate that I must take this action against an organization where I had the privilege of working with many dedicated associates over 17 years," Hunter said in a statement. "I'm proud of our record of achievement on behalf of players during my tenure as Executive Director and will continue to stand up for their interests. But I cannot let stand attacks on my character or accept what has been done."