Probably because I was in the “arena” so long (30 years in Division I basketball at nine different institutions, for first time readers - or those who’ve been away for a while and have less than stellar memories), I chuckle (now - I used to fume) when I see “letters-to-the-editor” or hear TV talking heads spew venom when they know, maybe, 10% of what they’re commenting on. All that said, I saw something in yesterday’s paper, the entirety of which I imagine I know very little. Armed with so little knowledge, however, I will still go out on a limb and make comment on it.
The story was about Billy Hunter, the executive director of the National Basketball Players’ Association. Full disclosure: I am on record as being on the David Stern side of the NBA & David Stern vs. NBPA & Billy Hunter battle. One reason is that I think Stern is as competent at his job than anyone else was/is at theirs. Inside the world of sports or out of it and for that, I truly admire him. Hunter always struck me as the pompous, bullying sort for which I can’t bring myself to respect him.
It seems that, as unbelievable as it sounds, there was criticism of his hiring practices. Somehow his daughter and daughter-in-law were on the payroll of the NBPA. Hey, maybe they killed the interview. Or aced the written exam. Falling within a similar realm of incredulity, the NBPA used to work with Prim Capital. I have to admit I’ve never heard of that organization. One thing I do know about it, though, is that Hunter’s son, Todd, is employed there. Bids in sealed envelopes, perhaps? In any case, Hunter was forced to fire the two ladies and the NBPA no longer can be affiliated with Prim Capital.
Situations like this mess beg for a quote - and in the case of someone like Billy Hunter, it’s not Mark Jackson’s catchphrase, “You’re better than that!” Rather, we’d have to paraphrase Desi Arnez:
“Billy, you got some ’splaining to do!”