NEW YORK -- In an exclusive interview with the Globe, NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter (right) said he has no plans to step down and wants to continue his job through the life of his contract. There has been speculation that Hunter no longer would serve as executive director and he received his share of criticism from players and agents during the intense labor negotiations.
Such scrutiny has died down since the agreement was reached.
"I've got like five years remaining on my contract, and that probably will be enough," he said. "I think (criticism is) just part of the process and it can't be avoided. We had the same issue in '98 and that a lot of our guys didn't follow it and a lot of times they react because someone else is giving them misinformation and they really don't understand the deal. And time will tell. As contracts become publicly known, then attitudes are formed as a consequence of that."
Hunter said he was convinced a deal would be reached, despite commissioner David Stern's threats of canceling the season.
"I knew there would be a deal," he said. "The only way it would not have been [was] if it got past Feb. 7 we wouldn't have had a season, but I never saw that happening. Just having been there before and the losses would be so extreme."