While NBA players were locked out as their leaders tried to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement, their union's executive director, Billy Hunter, was not missing any paydays.
Hunter made $3 million in salary this last year, when the NBA played a compacted 66-game season and players missed paychecks during a lengthy lockout. It was a 25% salary increase, according to Bloomberg news service.
By comparison, DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Assn. executive director, made $1.38 million this last season, although the players did give him a $1-million bonus after he led negotiations that landed a new 10-year labor deal with the nation's most popular league. Michael Weiner, the leader of the MLB Players’ Assn., made $1 million.
"If I’m a rank-and-file member of this union I’ve got to ask myself -- Is Billy really worth three times the guy at MLBPA?” said Paul Swangard of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon, in an email to Bloomberg.