Can't say this one comes as much of a surprise, but NBA Players Association honcho Billy Hunter has finally started his move to force out union president Derek Fisher, a guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, after five years on the job. Theoretically, Fisher has two years remaining in his role as union president, but that may prove largely moot, according to a memo obtained by Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Fisher has flatly refused to step down and has been working to gather a coalition of players to challenge Hunter's business and financial practices, sources told Yahoo! Sports. Fisher has told peers he will not resign, but rather fight Hunter for further transparency regarding the NBPA.
This showdown has been building for months and escalated in the past week when Fisher initially convinced the executive committee to vote for an independent auditor to look into Hunter's regime.
Nevertheless, Hunter helped to convince the eight members of the committee to change course and turn on Fisher. Hunter has been unpopular with many players and agents for his lockout strategies, which led to unprecedented givebacks in last summer's labor battle with the league.
Hunter had his legal team send a brief memo to players Tuesday night, telling them the audit – that had initially been voted upon Friday – had been cancelled. Y! Sports obtained the memo.
"The executive committee recognized that the review was unnecessary since there had been a recent independent audit of the NBPA's finances which raised no issues," the memo said.
Mistrust grew between Hunter and Fisher during the lockout, with players choosing sides between the two. A person with knowledge of the dispute told Yahoo! Sports that Hunter convinced the executive committee – which includes, among other players, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, Washington Wizards guards Maurice Evans and Roger Mason, Boston Celtics guard Keyon Dooling and San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner – that Fisher's push for an audit had no merit, and that it was inspired by personal animus.
If you missed the drama and internal machinations of the NBA lockout, enjoy this far-less-important encore.