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NEW ORLEANS -- A year after ousting Billy Hunter as executive director of the union, NBA players still aren't ready to replace him.
Players held their All-Star weekend meeting Saturday and were introduced to the remaining candidates for Hunter's old job, but they aren't ready to make a decision, or even to say when they expect one.
"This process has been long but we're not in a rush," vice president Roger Mason Jr. of the Miami Heat said.
Working with the executive search firm Reilly Partners, players said they began with a list of more than 200 candidates, but wouldn't say how many remain or even if they should be considered finalists. Those who remained in the process were invited to the meeting Saturday and met with a group of about 30 players who attended.
Plans are being made to distribute a video of the meeting to additional players so they can be fully informed about the candidates before one is hired.
Hunter was voted out during last year's All-Star meeting, shortly after an independent review of the union was critical of a number of his business decisions and hiring practices.
Secretary-treasurer James Jones, also of the Heat, refused to speculate if a replacement would be named by the start of next season, saying that "that would be giving a timeline and so we're not into timelines."
But Mason said players aren't frustrated that a replacement hasn't yet been chosen.
"It takes time but we haven't heard any pushback on it taking too long," he said. "We want to make this a thorough, transparent process and I think our players respect that."