CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Members of the National Basketball Players Association are in no rush to hire a search firm to help select a new executive director.
The focus is on getting more players involved in union activities, said Jerry Stackhouse, an 18-year NBA veteran and first vice president of the union.
The nine-member executive committee is hoping to get former players to help make the union's importance known to the current membership. The committee is also finding out what current players consider their priorities.
"We want to build a great union, but first we have to have our players," Stackhouse said at the University of Virginia, where the NBPA held its 20th Top 100 Camp for high school stars this week. "Before we go talking about a search firm, we want to know: What do the players want?
"Then we can hire a search firm and say, 'We want someone that can do A, B and C.'"
Billy Hunter, the union head since 1996, was ousted as executive director in February in a unanimous vote by players after an investigation into his business practices at NBPA. It found no illegal conduct but cited several conflicts of interest, questionable business decisions and hiring practices.
"He controlled so much, and now we're taking this back," Stackhouse said. "Over the last 18 years, I've paid over $200,000 in fees. It's my union."
The idea that Hunter ran the union without many players knowing what was going on also prompted the executive committee to decide the best thing for the players is a more transparent approach.