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Union looks for new leader

NEW YORK -- The National Basketball Players Association has retained a search firm as it seeks a replacement for ousted executive director Billy Hunter.

Reilly Partners Inc. will conduct the search, the union says Friday. Robert E. Reilly Jr., CEO and co-founder of the Chicago-based firm, will lead the efforts.

Hunter was removed last February after a review conducted by an outside law firm criticized his hiring of family members and friends, said his 2010 contract extension wasn't properly ratified by union rules, and raised questions about everything from travel expenses to the amount he spent on gifts.

The players have targeted next February for having a new executive director in place.