NBA notebook: Hunter voted out as players' union director
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Billy Hunter was ousted from his job as executive director of the union in a unanimous vote by NBA players, who said Saturday they will “no longer be divided, misled, misinformed.”
“This is our union, and we have taken it back,” players' association president Derek Fisher said.
Fisher said it was a day of change for the union, which has seemed inevitable since a review of the union last month was critical of Hunter's leadership and urged players to consider whether they wanted to keep him.
“We want to make it clear that we are here to serve only the best interests of the players,” Fisher said. “No threats, no lies, no distractions will stop us from serving our memberships.”
Hunter said in a statement that he hadn't received word of his dismissal and blasted the interim executive committee for the process it followed, saying “certain individuals made sure the outcome was pre-ordained.”
“In addition, given the legitimate legal and governance questions surrounding the eligibility of the members who voted and the adherence, or lack thereof, to the constitution and bylaws, I do not consider today's vote the end, only a different beginning,” Hunter said. “My legal representatives and I will resume communication with the NBPA to determine how to best move forward in the best interests of all parties.”
Hunter had led the union since 1996, guiding the players through three collective bargaining agreements and helping bring their average salaries to more than $5 million.
Toronto rookie Terrence Ross beat defending champion Jeremy Evans to win the slam-dunk contest.
The 6-foot-6 Ross jumped over a ball boy, whipped the ball between his legs and threw down a one-handed slam to clinch the victory. Earlier, Ross donned a Vince Carter jersey, took a lob from high-school teammate Terrence Jones off the edge of the backboard, spun in the air, and then slammed home another one-hander.
Evans jumped over a painted portrait of himself and hurdled Dallas Mavericks forward Dahntay Jones for a dunk in his final round.
Ross earned 58 percent of the fan vote in the championship round.
Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving beat San Antonio's Matt Bonner to win the 3-point contest.
Irving started 7 for 7 in the final round and finished with 23 points — two shy of the record shared by Craig Hodges and Jason Kapono.
The trio of Miami's Chris Bosh, McKeesport native and WNBA star Swin Cash, and Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins won the Shooting Stars competition. Bosh's group beat the team of Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, Maya Moore of the WNBA and former Houston Rocket Robert Horry.
Portland rookie Damian Lillard beat Philadelphia guard Jrue Holiday in the final round to win the Skills Competition. The competition involves players navigating a dribbling circuit, taking a 3-point shot, hitting targets with passes and driving for a layup. Lillard swished his first 3-point attempt in his winning run and finished the obstacle course in 29.8 seconds.
D-League All-Star Game
Travis Leslie scored 19 points to earn Most Valuable Player honors, and Justin Dentmon added 18 points as the Prospects team got a 139-125 win over the Futures team.
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