Culture of Hoops

Kevin Johnson, NBAPA meet with player agents

image courtesy of Tom Bridge/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Tom Bridge/Flickr.

Baller Mind Frame’s No Layups brings you the hottest NBA stories on the web mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton. Check it often and absorb the knowledge we’re dropping on you!

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is spearheading the NBA Players Association’s search for a new executive director, held a brief meeting in Chicago to update player agents on the current state of the search and the plan moving forward.

That doesn’t sound earth-shattering unless compared to how former executive director Billy Hunter operated before being unanimously voted out of office 15 months ago following an audit that revealed a host of questionable financial and hiring decisions during Hunter’s reign.

Hunter made a point of vilifying player agents and keeping the process of any and all decisions as clandestine as possible…

Johnson, enlisted a month ago to help the players union’s search, has formed a committee of outside advisers and has aggressively presented his plan and schedule to everyone involved. Every player agent was invited to attend the meeting, held at the same hotel that served as the headquarters for the pre-draft camp, and approximately 20 did so.

“It was very different than anything I’ve ever seen,” said one agent. “I’m 100 percent confident KJ is going to help find someone on par with himself to lead the players association going forward.” Bleacher Report

Billy Hunter was the executive direction of the NBAPA for 17 years, but was fired for questionable business tactics, nepotism, and improper use of funds, among other things. Pundits has speculated that Hunter’s poor negotiating tactics led to the latest lockout, and the subsequent butt-kicking the players received in revenue sharing.

The story hasn’t gotten much attention because it’s a pretty ugly situation with Hunter currently suing the NBAPA for defamation of character and breach of contract via firing (not sure how that works if you are fired by your employers but I’m obviously missing something). Needless to say, the NBAPA has not replaced Hunter, a position that has now been open for an entire year.

Kevin Johnson has stepped forward to assist in this role when needed, Donald Sterling’s debacle being the most recent example, but he’s the mayor of Sacramento which means is why he is leading the charge to find the best candidate rather than fill the role himself. I have no clue who it will be. At least I will have something to write about during the summer.

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