Derek Fisher hit back at the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) executive committee after it unanimously called for his resignation as union president, accusing the eight-man group of serving its own interests rather than the league of players it represents.
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The veteran Thunder guard said he received support from his NBA peers Friday in the wake of the committee’s 8-0 vote, which he described as a "personal character attack on me to divert attention from the real issue. The truth."
Fisher is pushing for an independent review of the NBPA’s business practices under Executive Director Billy Hunter, with whom he has a long-standing feud that became public knowledge in the latter stages of the NBA lockout.
Fisher initially received the backing of the executive committee in his recent calls to probe Hunter’s handling of the union’s financial affairs.
But the same eight-member committee later switched allegiance to Hunter — who said the move for a review was "unnecessary" following a recent independent audit — and demanded Fisher stand down.
The NBPA executive board issued a statement Friday, calling on Fisher to resign to "avoid further damage to the NBPA and its 450 members."
The board said the no-confidence vote was based "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."
Fisher, who has more than two years left of his presidency, said he was "extremely disappointed with the executive committee" in a statement released Friday night.
"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," he said.
Fisher called on his colleagues in the league to throw their weight behind his push for an audit of the union’s finances.
"All players have a voice," he said. "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."