Fisher To NBPA: “I Will Not Resign”





In-fighting between executive committee members of the NBA players’ union and President Derek Fisher escalated Friday night, with Fisher refusing to resign while urging the league’s 30 players reps to demand review of his performance and the union’s business practices and finances.

All of this would have grabbed far bigger headlines had it occurred six, eight or 12 months ago – before the NBA and the union agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement that will run at least through the 2016-17 season. Fisher, executive director Billy Hunter and the eight National Basketball Players Association vice presidents who have lined up behind Hunter in this skirmish were front and center then, with the league in a lockout that lasted five months.

Now it is more of an inside-basketball story that might not grab most fans’ attention. The players involved are mostly back at work on the courts, with the playoffs looming. But the political maneuvering by Hunter – who fended off a call by Fisher for an audit of Hunter’s performance, turning that into an 8-0 vote of non-support for the union president – and Fisher might explain some of the union’s inconsistencies and reversals during the CBA negotiations.

Fisher was accused by Hunter sympathizers during the talks last fall as undercutting the players’ position in side dealings with management, allegedly to assure himself of a future position with the league. Hunter was criticized by others for trying to protect his power base. Both took heat for concessions ultimately made in the final contract.

Some player reps reportedly view this attack on Fisher’s integrity as a move by Hunter to secure his job (and approximately $2.4 million salary). Many were caught unaware by the bold accusations and politicking.

The eight-man executive committee –which includes active players Maurice Evans, Keyon Dooling, James Jones, Matt Bonner and Chris Paul, along with Roger Mason, Theo Ratliff and Etan Thomas (not currently employed by teams) – requested Fisher’s resignation Friday. In a statement, it said it “based its decision on numerous instances over the past six months, where Fisher engaged in conduct detrimental to the union, including acting in contravention of the players’ best interests, during collective bargaining, declining to follow the NBPA Constitution, and failing to uphold the duties of the Union President.”

Fisher, currently a reserve guard with the Oklahoma City Thunder, fired back with a statement after his team’s shootaround practice in Sacramento Friday morning. Later in the day, he came back with something more official, calling the committee’s allegations “defamatory” and urging a vote of all 30 player reps in pursuing an independent audit of the NBPA.

Here is the full text of Fisher’s response:

“As I stated in my letter to the Executive Committee, I will not resign.

I along with many others are extremely disappointed with the Executive Committee.  Their demand for my resignation and their need to protect the NBPA Management and their own best interests instead of protecting the players we were elected to serve is unfortunate.

I have tried to convey the legal and moral obligations we have as union officers.  Sadly, the Executive Committee has now waged a personal character attack on me to divert attention from the real issue.  The truth.

So the next step is simple.  All players have a voice.  Any and all players may request an independent review of the business practices and finances and a Player Representative vote can be taken at a time when all 30 player representatives can be present.  A firm of the players choosing may conduct the review.

The allegations that are now being directed at me are defamatory.  But I urge our members to order an independent review beginning immediately and that will be proven along with finding out definitively if there are any issues with the NBPA’s business practices and finances.”

36 Comments

  1. xelcid says:

    What is the NBPA scared of? Fisher asks for an audit into the finances, and they try and force him out? Wow… Talk about skeletons in your closet.

  2. John says:

    The players should CALL for an audit of the players union and Fisher know this — his college degree is in business. This is a good time for the players to see how the UNION is being administrated. The have the right to protect their investment. The union was created to protect and to serve the interests of the players and it is accountable to them. There are millions of dollars at stake and in the past, many professional athletes have lost millions because they did not audit their business interests. I have been in business for over 30 years. My accountant reports to me quarterly and annually so that I get the best out of my investments. An independent audit lets the numbers speak for themselves. Its the right call for the players to watch out for their own interests. Then they can make their voices heard in an informed manner. The legal antidote for ‘conflict of interest’ is exposure. Bring it out into the light of day.

  3. ranel amoto says:

    u dont know the whole story behind this so we have no right to give offensive conclusion in this issue

  4. FISHER OLD GOAT says:

    He is worn out…Let the youngsters step in

  5. billy hunt-her says:

    Check BilLy’s records! check Derek’s actions! Boo them both!

  6. @Chris Paul

    This is not about liking…

    It is about what is equitable and just!!!

  7. joe bob says:

    deepens my dislike for union leaders

  8. The queston is why does Hunter want Derick to really resign?

  9. An audit is good for the players and the fans what is Hunter afraid of he makes to much money to do nothing you need to check his bank account out go get em Derick

  10. Rmh9090 says:

    I think Fisher plays both ends of the field in a bad way. Seems pretty good at getting what he wants. Getting out of Utah and Houston was a pretty cute trick. Legal but still.

  11. When fisher left the jazz,its the right time for him to do so without disturbing the chemistry of the team.what would you do during that time making Deron Williams a back-up to dfish? they used to play together but we know jazz is D-Will’s team.

  12. Chris Paul says:

    We, the committee doesnt like Fisher at all….

  13. Wei Kim says:

    An audit is fair to both sides.

  14. FireBird says:

    I said this last summer when the negotiations were stalled. “When all of this is said and done, they will hang poor Derek out to dry because not everyone will get what they want. Especially Billy Hunter”.

    I would like to know if there has ever been a NBA players’ union President that has not been asked to leave after there has been tough negotiations like last fall? Frankly, the players are babies and usually fold like a cheap lawn chair. If they really want to show up at the negotiation table and think they might have a chance, they show fire Billy and hire someone that can at least carry David Stearn’s jock strap.

  15. Xaled says:

    you deserve this NBPA!!!! this is what happens when you make such person your president

  16. Kobe Bryant says:

    Congratulations Derek Fisher, You have succeeded the success of success of success. Youre welcome

  17. This is an appeal to all NBA Players… let us support Fisher!!!

    When people avoid audit, that is already a BIG reason to make a bigger PUSH!

    LET US GO! PUSH! PUSH! PUSH!

  18. Go on Fisher, that is right. As a CPA myself, I am wondering why there are people avoiding audit. Most companies do have internal auditors, PLENTY of external auditors… for some government entities… audit from state auditors. Transparency is a must.

    When people avoid audit, that is already a BIG reason to make a bigger PUSH!

    GO!

  19. clinton says:

    what you mean he doesn`t want to step down, he doesn`t own it, its not his organization, its just a simple position they gave him and now he doesn`t want to leave ? ,.

    • matthewleemyers says:

      I think you misunderstand the situation. If your boss ‘asked you to quit’, you can choose to quit or not. You’re not under any obligation to do so. They asked him to step down. They haven’t gone through the proper channels to actually have him removed. All Fisher is doing is saying, “No, I’d rather not leave. If you want me out, you can do it the right way (through a vote).”

    • matthewleemyers says:

      There’s a difference between “being fired” and “being asked to quit”. If the NBPA want to get rid of him, they can. All he’s doing is not allowing himself to be hung out to dry by Hunter.

  20. moondog says:

    Dfish has always been a straight up guy. Billy Hunter had been D Sterns whipping boy! The commitee consists of sheer idiots(which is surprising that Chris Paul is part of but what can u expect from a guy who could not finish college). GO FISH, attack them with intelligence which they apparently lack. Billy Hunter r u serious! Stern said he’s buried many which includes u!

  21. Ken says:

    I trust Derek. He’s straightforward, His integrity and devotion are above all. I never liked Hunter’s acrobatics and manipulations. If Derek gets a job with the league it’ll be a blessing for basketball.

  22. booo says:

    He done enough, he cant play anymore, and he messed up the whole season. He should have retired long ago from baskteball.
    Dont like that guy

  23. jauko says:

    At this point, nobody knows whether or not there are even any guilty parties in this mess. However we do know that back a few years ago, Fisher asked to be cut from Utah, supposedly so he could move to a place where his daughter could get better medical treatment, only to be re-signed by the Lakers. That was one sneaky move by Fisher. Why he didn’t just ask for a trade so the Jazz would have come out of the deal with something, we’ll never know. But the fact remains he screwed the Utah Jazz, plain and simple, and shouldn’t have even been allowed back in the league for at least a year after that deceptive stunt. Just saying that Fisher’s motives are often suspect.

    • Matt says:

      Why would Fisher deceive Utah to go back to the Lakers who at the time were not very good. Fisher didn’t know that Bynum would emerge as an elite center that season or that the Lakers would get Pau Gasol.

    • matthewleemyers says:

      You don’t know what went on behind closed doors. Dropping Fisher’s contract may have actually been a better option for the Jazz than a trade depending on finances, available players on the teams for whom Fish would be willing to play, etc. If a trade hadn’t gone through, the Jazz could have been stuck with a player that wasn’t at his best and still been stuck paying the contract.

    • i thought his daughter was sick so he came back to la

    • UtahQuad says:

      Derek Fisher should have been out some time ago, and given that players are calling for his resignation, the next step would be for the player reps to get together and call for a vote of no-confidence. As for the Fisher/Utah issue, those who are in the know, have said flat out that Fisher wanted released, and that was how he approacehd Larry H. Miller, He wanted released specifically to sign with a team closer to his daughters doctors in New York City. He did not want to be traded. He played the heart-strings of an honest, emotional owner in Larry H. Miller, and took advantage. After he got traded to Houston, he basically pulled the same kind of stunt, though in a different method. Claiming that he needed to be in OKC since they had good cancer facilities there. The real strange thing here is that Utah has some of the best medical facilities in the western USA. They have University Medical Center, Primary Childrens Hospital, The Huntsman Cancer Center, and the Moran Eye Center, all on the same campus.

      On top of that from people that I know in the Jazz organization, Larry H. Miller offered Derek full use of Charter Jets when he did need to travel to NYC. So what does Fisher do, he leaves Utah on the premise of going to be closer to doctors, then goes 180 degrees the other direction, further away than we are here in SLC. When he was traded to Houston, he also wanted out to go someplace out. There should be an easy pattern here, Fisher is chasing Championships, what other possible reason would he choose to go to OKC? They were the top team in the West at the time he went over, and had the best chance at winning the ring. Fisher is manipulative, and self serving, and uses his daughters health as the factor for him to get his way. If this really the kind of person who should be representing the players? Fisher is the mist greedy of the selfish type players, hands down!

  24. KYG says:

    GO D. FISH, best president the NBPA will ever have…

  25. LOL says:

    This shows the weak side of the NBPA if some of the players lost confidence over Derek Fisher. Even if what he did with the Rockets(buying-out his remaining contract) is legal, it somehow shows the loophole in the rules of the NBA and which somehow reflects his use of his authority to abuse some loopholes behind every contracts. But hey! Just an idea… why not replace him with Jeremy Lin? Jeremy is a graduate in Economics from Harvard which suits very much with the position where Derek Fisher is, and the NBPA will no longer hire another Economist since Jeremy can do it himself?

    • matthewleemyers says:

      Lin has played about half a season. He certainly hasn’t earned a spot as president of the NBPA.

      Also, an economics degree isn’t the same as a business degree. I doubt the NBPA has any economists on its payroll.

  26. danito says:

    poor fisher lakers got rid of him and now the committe want him out. double wammy