NBA Notes: Billy Hunter fires family members

NBA Notes: Billy Hunter fires family members
January 29, 2013, 10:00 pm
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After a sub-par start to the season, the Sixers sense a turnaround with Andrew Bynum's return getting closer (see story).

In Bynum's absence, Thaddeus Young has been one of the bright spots this season (see story).

Here is a look at other news from around the NBA:

Hunter fires family members
NEW YORK -- Executive director Billy Hunter has fired his daughter and daughter-in-law from the NBA players' association, less than two weeks after a review criticized his hiring practices.

In a letter to the union's special committee of players, dated Jan. 23, Hunter informed them that Robyn Hunter was to be let go as of Jan. 25. Megan Inaba will stay on through the All-Star break to help coordinate activities in Houston before leaving her job on Feb. 17.

"Hopefully this decision will alleviate any concerns raised by their employment," Hunter wrote. "These measures are being taken although the report noted that both of them were highly qualified, not overpaid, and were contributing members of the NBPA staff."

Hunter also states in the letter, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, that the NBPA will no longer work with Prim Capital, the banking firm that employs Hunter's son, Todd.

The letter was first reported by Bloomberg News.

The review by the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP said Hunter's hiring of family and friends had "damaged the union." Though finding no evidence of illegal use of union funds, the report cited numerous conflicts of interests, noted that his contract was never properly approved and urged players to consider whether they wanted to remove him during their All-Star meeting.

"The appearance of favoritism has damaged the union. Mr. Hunter's pattern of involving friends and family in union business contributed to a deep rift among the NBPA staff," the report said, adding that Hunter's choices "created the appearance that he operated the union in part for the benefit of his family and friends."

Hunter wrote in the letter that an anti-nepotism policy had been adopted, and that other hiring improvements would be implemented.

"In my work for the NBPA, my priority has always been to promote the interests of the players," Hunter wrote. "Through the benefit of hindsight, as with any executive, there are always things that could have been done better. In that spirit, I regret that my long tenure with many successes on behalf of the players has been overshadowed by the appearance of conflicts of interest."

Union spokesman Dan Wasserman said Hunter had no comment on the letter or the dismissals.

Cavs, Heat frontrunners for Oden
Greg Oden hopes to make a return to the NBA next season as a bench player.

According to CBSSports.com (via ProBasketballTalk), the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat are the frontrunners to land the former No. 1 pick.

Oden last played on Dec. 5, 2009 for the Portland Trail Blazers and has missed the last three seasons with multiple knee injuries, including three microfracture surgeries.

In his two seasons in the NBA, Oden averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

Adelman's wife dealing with seizures
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has been trying to keep a lid on his wife's health issues that caused him to be away from the team for three weeks.

Mary Kay Adelman didn't seem to understand why, so Rick Adelman has revealed that she has been suffering from seizures.

Rick Adelman returned to the Timberwolves after his hiatus on Monday and declined to talk specifically about what was bothering his wife.

On Tuesday, Adelman says he was urged by her to be more open about the situation. He says his wife has been seeking treatment for the past three weeks, but doctors still don't know what is causing them.

Rick Adelman missed 11 games to be with her. He plans to coach on Wednesday night against the Clippers.

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