Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: April 25, 7:24 PM ET
NBPA sends anti-Derek Fisher memo
By Chris Broussard
ESPN The Magazine
The executive committee of the NBA Players Association sent a memo to its player representatives Tuesday night that presented NBPA president Derek Fisher as a rogue leader who has been delinquent in his duties since the end of the lockout.
ESPN.com obtained a copy of the memo from a source close to a player rep.
In addition to saying Fisher has failed to participate in executive committee conference calls, failed to make appearances on the union's behalf, and chosen not to cooperate with executive director Billy Hunter since January, the memo presents a timeline of recent events to support its decision last week to ask for Fisher's resignation.
While the memo says the executive committee became "increasingly concerned" with Fisher's leadership over the past few months, the division between Fisher and the other eight members of the committee came to a head last week when Fisher called for an independent audit of the Union's financial practices without conducting a committee vote and without the committee's permission.
The memo says Fisher refused to participate in a conference call last Tuesday that the committee organized for Fisher, Hunter and the committee members to discuss Fisher's concerns. It says Fisher instead held a separate conference call at the same time with a law firm and attempted to persuade committee members to leave their call to join his. James Jones was the only committee member to do so.
In discussions with committee members, Fisher cited nepotism on the part of Hunter as one of the reasons he wanted an independent audit done by a law firm of his choosing. After Hunter answered their questions regarding Fisher's concerns on last Tuesday's conference call, the executive committee, satisfied with Hunter's explanations, voted 8-0 to ask for Fisher's resignation as the union's president. Fisher has refused to resign.
In addition to Fisher, the members of the executive committee are Jones, Chris Paul, Matt Bonner, Keyon Dooling, Maurice Evans, Roger Mason, Etan Thomas and Theo Ratliff.
Since the divide between Fisher and the executive committee went public, several publications have written stories questioning Hunter's leadership and hiring practices. While no legal wrongdoing has been uncovered or suggested, the reports have scrutinized Hunter for hiring law firms that employ his family members as well as for employing family members at the NBPA.