Bulls’ Hinrich examined
Guard Kirk Hinrich has returned to Chicago to have his right elbow examined, and the Bulls also played without center Joakim Noah and forward Carlos Boozer when they faced the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
Hinrich has been hampered by injuries for much of the season. He is averaging 7.0 points in 40 games.
He started Chicago’s 104-88 victory at Milwaukee on Wednesday and finished with six points in 32½ minutes.
The Bulls said Hinrich’s status “will be determined once all medical information has been gathered.”
NBPA puts Hunter on leave
NBA players put union chief Billy Hunter on an indefinite leave Friday, two weeks after a report they commissioned questioned Hunter’s leadership and criticized him for bad decisions and questionable business practices.
The union is forming an interim executive committee and an advisory committee, the group’s president, Derek Fisher, said in a statement released Friday. An outside attorney is also being hired as players begin moving forward, likely without the man who has guided them since 1996.
Hunter’s attorney responded that the actions weren’t allowable under NBPA rules, setting up the possibility of a Hunter fight to keep to his job.
Fisher pushed for the outside review of Hunter and the union. That examination by a New York law firm found no illegal use of funds but cited Hunter for a number of poor choices and recommended players discuss whether he should remain in charge during their All-Star weekend meetings.
Van Exel’s son convicted
A Texas jury sentenced the son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel to 60 years in prison Friday in the shooting death of a longtime friend.
Nickey Maxwell Van Exel, 22, received the punishment after his father wept on the witness stand and apologized to the family of the victim, Bradley Bassey Eyo. The same jury found the younger Van Exel guilty of murder on Thursday.
Prosecutors had sought a capital murder conviction.