Billy Hunter likely to fight for salary after NBPA firing

Patrick McDermott

The conflict between the NBA players union and recently-fired director Billy Hunter likely isn't over yet.

The NBA Players Association may have voted unanimously to fire union executive Billy Hunter on Saturday, but their conflict likely isn't over yet. With Hunter's lawyers arguing that his 2010 contract extension was completely legal, the departing executive will likely put up quite the fight over his $3 million annual salary for this year.

"Under the constitution and bylaws, such approval is only needed for the 'appointment' of an Executive Director. It is not required to extend the contract of an already hired Executive Director," attorney Michael Carlinsky wrote in a rebuttal to a recent report critical of Hunter's past behavior as NBPA director.

Hunter's contract extension was a central component of a recent review of his actions as director released by law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in January. The firm claims that it has "powerful arguments" relating to the illegal nature of the contract, which was signed in 2010, should Hunter's firing lead to litigation.

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