The NBA is taking care of players from its past.
On Tuesday, the league and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced a new jointly-funded program that will pay approximately 115 former American Basketball Association (ABA) players $3,828 per year of service.
The players all played at least three seasons and did not qualify for the NBA’s pension plan.
“Both our current players and team governors felt a need to act on behalf of these former ABA players who are aging and, in many cases, facing difficult economic circumstances,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “These pioneers made meaningful contributions to help grow the game of professional basketball and we all believe it’s appropriate to provide financial recognition to this group for their impact.”
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The “Dropping Dimes Foundation,” a non-profit that seeks to help former ABA players who were not part of the NBA/ABA merger, has been pushing the NBA to offer assistance to former players since 2014.
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“It’s an incredible day for former ABA players, one that we and the players have been hoping for and working so hard toward for many years,” said Scott Tarter, CEO and founder of Dropping Dimes.
The NBA and the ABA merged in 1976, with all four ABA teams still remaining in the NBA to this day.
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“Our players have a genuine sense of appreciation for those who paved the way and helped us achieve the success we enjoy today,” said NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio. “We have always considered the ABA players a part of our brotherhood and we are proud to finally recognize them with this benefit.”
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A player who played for three years in the ABA will receive $3,828 for every year of service for a total of $11,484 per year.