Billy Hunter (basketball)

George William Hunter (born November 5, 1942) is an American former executive director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the players' union of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is also a former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.

Billy Hunter
No. 23, 24
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1942-11-05) November 5, 1942 (age 81)
Camden, New Jersey
Career information
High school:Delaware Township
(Delaware Township, New Jersey)
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:29
Receiving touchdowns:1
Kick returns:23
Return yards:516

Hunter played baseball as a child, and helped lead his team to the Little League World Series in 1955.[1] He graduated from Delaware Township High School in Delaware Township (now Cherry Hill), New Jersey, and played college football for the Syracuse Orange.[2] While a student-athlete at Syracuse University, "he helped organize the school's boycott of Southern schools whose stadiums were segregated."[3]

In the NFL, he had one career reception which went for a touchdown.[4] He caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Dick Shiner in the fourth quarter of a game on October 10, 1965 at District of Columbia Stadium.[5]

Following his football career, Hunter attended law school at UC Berkeley School of Law and became an attorney. One of the youngest United States Attorneys in history, he was appointed to serve the Northern District of California, where he prosecuted high-profile federal defendants including members of Hells Angels and the Black Panther Party. Hunter was named the executive director of the NBPA in 1996.[3][6]

Hunter was criticized for employing many family members within the NBPA. An external audit initiated by Derek Fisher uncovered numerous irregularities, and a select committee of NBA players unanimously ousted Hunter from his position on February 16, 2013, during the NBA All-Star break.[7][8] In May 2013, Hunter sued the NBPA, Fisher and Jamie Wior—Fisher's publicist and business partner—seeking compensation and punitive damages.[9] The suit claimed that Fisher had a secret deal with NBA owners during the 2011 NBA lockout.[10] In January 2014, a judge dismissed all of Hunter's claims against Wior and Fisher,[11][12] and Hunter dropped his subsequent appeal in May.[13] However, the judge also ruled that it was the union's prerogative to fire Hunter, but allowed Hunter's claim that he was still owed $10.5 million to continue.[12]


  1. ^ "Hall of Excellence". Little League Baseball. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  2. ^ Billy Hunter player profile Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, database Football. Accessed July 27, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Wise, Mike. "The Street Fighter Who Galls the N.B.A.", New York Times, August 2, 1998.
  4. ^ "Billy Hunter Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Draft, College". Sports Reference. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  5. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Redskins - October 10th, 1965". Sports Reference. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  6. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian. NBA players’ union leader takes bold stand. Yahoo!Sports. March 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-3-21.
  7. ^ Associated Press. "Billy Hunter unanimously voted out", ESPN, February 16, 2013
  8. ^ "NBA Players Oust Union Leader," Howard Beck, NYTimes, 16 Feb 2013
  9. ^ Zillgitt, Jeff (May 16, 2013). "Fired Billy Hunter sues NBPA, President Derek Fisher". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  10. ^ "Suit filed against Derek Fisher". Associated Press. May 16, 2013. Archived from the original on June 9, 2013.
  11. ^ Berger, Ken (January 22, 2014). "Remaining actions against Fisher dropped from Hunter lawsuit". Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Billy Hunter's suit OK'd to continue". Associated Press. January 15, 2014. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014.
  13. ^ Polzer, Tim (May 21, 2014). "Report: Ex-NBPA director Billy Hunter drops appeal against Derek Fisher". Archived from the original on May 25, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2014.