NBA union leadership wants Fisher out as president

Derek Fisher has rejected a call from the NBA players’

association’s executive committee to resign as president, instead

urging players to seek a review of the union’s finances.

Hours after the NBPA said in a statement Friday that the

executive committee voted 8-0 this week that it had lost confidence

in Fisher’s ability to lead, Fisher reiterated that he told them he

will not step down.

”I, along with many others, are extremely disappointed with the

Executive Committee,” Fisher said Friday in a statement. ”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.”

Fisher, who recently signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder after

playing most of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, has been

the union’s president since 2006. He led players during the

negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement this

offseason.

A rift between Fisher and union executive director Billy Hunter

seemed to develop during the lockout, Fisher often speaking to the

media alone while Hunter left quickly after negotiating

sessions.

The rift peaked Wednesday with the executive committee’s

vote.

”The Executive Committee 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,” the statement said.

Fisher said any player may request an independent review of the

union’s business practices and finances.

”The allegations that are now being directed at me are

defamatory,” Fisher said. ”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.”

After the Thunder’s 103-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings on

Friday night, Fisher expounded on his earlier statement.

”Most guys who have contacted me said they support the idea of

a business review,” he said. ”They haven’t said much about the

process of how we got here.”

Fisher also spoke about his relationship with Hunter.

”I can’t speak for Billy Hunter. We obviously worked close

together over the last three years. I haven’t spent a lot of time

thinking about whether or not things that have happened or will

happen are personal,” Fisher said. ”My focus as president of our

membership is that I have an obligation under federal labor laws

that if there are things of concern or should be questioned, I as

an officer of a union have an obligation to look into it. It’s not

about personal allegations or pointing fingers at any one person.

It’s about the truth in general and the truth could call into

question everyone including my leadership and other people who work

at the players association.”