USA Today discovered a department of labor filing with regards to Billy Hunter’s salary with the NBPA last year, much of which was spent during the lockout of the NBPA by the owners in the labor dispute. Mr. Hunter did quite well for himself.
National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter was paid $3 million from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012, a $600,000 — or 25% — raise over the previous year, according to NBPA documents filed Friday with the United States Department of Labor.
Just to review this, the NBPA paid Hunter $600,000 more last year so that they could lose 5.8 percentage points in BRI just in the first year, with more in subsequent years, and lose 16 games worth of pay. That’s clearly money well spent.
USA Today also outlines all the exorbitant legal fees paid to various consulting law firms during the lockout, including those who hired Hunter’s children. The union doled out some serious cash in a losing effort. Hunter has been under scrutiny, particularly from ousted NBPA president Derek Fisher over where the money went over the last several years, with an investigation still pending.
This certainly doesn’t make Hunter look good, but there’s no telling how much Hunter donated during the lockout, and it’s hard to gauge whether Hunter did a good job during the lockout or not. The players lost a ton of money, but the owners also had massive leverage. There were reasons for the loss, and Hunter deserves to make a living like anyone.
But $3 million dollars? During the exact period where the union got squashed, the very thing Hunter’s paid to prevent? Not a good look.