By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
During NBA All-Star Weekend, Brooklyn Net Jerry Stackhouse was elected as First Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association.
Stackhouse, an 18-year veteran, is one of the NBA’s most respected players. He has taken an active role in the players’ union recently, and has been extremely critical of the union’s leadership.
He led the charge against NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter, who was dismissed by a 24-0 vote. Hunter was Executive Director for the past 16 years. A recent audit found that Hunter had given jobs and union contracts to family members, charged personal expenses to the union, and illegally signed himself to a contract extension.
Stackhouse also voiced his opposition of keeping Derek Fisher as union president, but Fisher was re-elected.
Matt Bonner was named Vice President, and James Jones will serve as secretary-treasurer. Roger Mason, Jr., Andre Iguodala, Chris Paul, and Stephen Curry were elected vice presidents in addition to Stackhouse.
Stackhouse sees this recent action as being a turning point for the NBPA, and he said, “We’re in a good place with our union right now. We’re getting things behind us and building a union we can be proud of.”
In speaking about Hunter, Stackhouse said, “We’re basketball players, we’ve trusted people to handle situations for us, and that was abused…Guys are on different teams in different cities, and nobody’s able to be on the day-to-day with the union, and that was taken advantage of.”
Stackhouse will have a key role in deciding who will replace Hunter. “We have to go out and hire a search firm to find the brightest minds. We have to find an executive director eventually. We need to put a face to our union. For now, there are plenty of lawyers dealing with things,” said Stackhouse.
He said that, ideally, the executive director should be someone removed from playing, with knowledge of the sport, to lead the NBPA in the future. One thing Stackhouse emphasized is the role the players need to play, “We have to be more in tune with what’s going on.”