The executive committee of the National Basketball Players Association voted 8-0 last week in favor of Derek Fisher’s resignation but the current president said that he will not resign.
ESPN reports that the vote came shortly after Fisher urged an independent review of the union’s finances.
Fisher, who has been the union’s president since 2006 and still has two years left on his appointment as NBPA president, said:
“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.”
Sports Illustrated reports that a feud between Fisher and union executive director Billy Hunter has been brewing for months. The rift peaked Wednesday when Hunter and the rest of the Executive Committee voted to remove Fisher from his seat as president. The committee wrote in a statement:
“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.”
CBS reports that the committee took particular offense to the proposed audit which they believe is redundant. The executive committee said that an audit was conducted recently and revealed no regularities. They also believe that Fisher is trying to undermine Hunter by questioning the union’s finances.
Fisher, however, said that the audit wasn’t about him or Hunter, it was about the players in the NBA. Fisher said:
“I … challenge people to think about why I would choose consciously to do that. Normally at this time of year, the one thing that I’ve always wanted to concentrate solely on is helping lead the team to a championship. If this was just about me, that’s what I would do. I would just concentrate on basketball. But because this is bigger than me, this is bigger than any one person. It’s really about all players and what’s best for our guys, then I’m willing to take the hits and some of the scrutiny that will come with some of the decisions I make.”
Fisher’s teammate Kobe Bryant seems to agree with the Union president. Bryant said:
“What’s wrong with doing an audit? I’m very curious about that. Extremely. We all should be. To be honest, my first thought is to focus on this audit. That’s my first reaction,” Bryant said. “The Derek thing, if guys don’t want him in there then you really can’t do anything about that, but as an organization, every organization does an audit every now and then. I don’t see anything wrong with doing an independent audit. It’s not that big of a deal. Just get it done.”