Bloomberg News

NBA Players’ Union Review Is Almost Over, Treasurer Jones Says

November 04, 2012

An independent review of the National Basketball Players Association’s financial and business practices is nearly complete, said union treasurer James Jones, a member of the organization’s executive committee.

“It’s at the end,” Jones, who plays for the Miami Heat, said in an interview before his team’s Nov. 2 game at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Jones didn’t give a date for completion of the review, which is being conducted by Theodore V. Wells Jr. and the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. Lisa Green, a spokeswoman for the firm, didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the review, which will include a financial audit.

The union retained the firm in April after the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said it was investigating union practices.

Jones said he spoke with lawyers at the firm “a couple of months ago.” He said the conversation was “one way,” and consisted of “general stuff,” but wouldn’t provide specifics of what was asked.

“There’s no rush to judgment,” he said. “Let’s all wait until it’s concluded.”

Authorities opened the probe in April after union President Derek Fisher asked for independent reviews of the association’s finances and business practices.

Fisher had complained to executive committee members about nepotism at the union, which represents about 450 players.

Union Executive Director Billy Hunter, who turns 70 in two days, has a daughter and daughter-in-law on staff at the New York-based association. Another daughter is special counsel at a law firm used by the union, and Hunter’s son is a principal at a financial planning and investment firm that advises the organization on investments and runs its financial awareness program for players.

Hunter has said his family members are qualified and, in most cases, underpaid by market standards.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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