NBPA President Chris Paul Excited About New CBA Agreement
ORLANDO – As the Clippers and Magic tipped off Wednesday night, the NBA and NBPA finished off an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The tentative agreement is pending ratification by players and team owners, but while the parties agreed to extend the deadline to opt out of the existing CBA from Dec. 15, 2016 to Jan. 13, 2017 so both sides can review the terms of the agreement, the deal should mean peace is on the horizon.
And anything to avoid a lockout should make fans happy, the way NBPA president Chris Paul was as he talked about the deal following the Clippers’ win in Orlando, crediting NBA commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and everyone involved in making it happen.
“I think everyone negotiated in good faith,” Paul said. “The conversations were great. Everything was cordial. Everyone knows how well the game was going, and nobody wanted to mess that up. Hat goes off to Adam and his team, and same thing on our side.”
Paul’s particularly excited about the NBA and the NBPA providing healthcare for retired players beginning next month, which was voted on this summer.
While specific terms of the deal have not yet been divulged, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the seven-year deal will shorten the preseason while starting the regular season a week sooner, as well as raise rookie, veteran minimum and md-level exception salaries by 50 percent, among other changes.
Here’s more on what Paul had to say about the new deal:
“It’s amazing. It’s great. Was on the phone with Michele today, and I’m excited. I’m happy for the league, I’m happy for our fans, the owners, everyone who’s involved. It’s a great thing.
“I’m in constant communication with Michele…I talked to her all day today before the game and stuff like that, so I sort of knew. She’s always trying to be so respectful of my time and making sure I’m focused on the game, which I am. I talked to (NBPA secretary-treasurer) James Jones before the game, too, he was my right-hand guy. Like I said, we’re excited for the players, for the owners, most of all for the fans, but also for the former players. This was such a huge deal in some of the things we were able to provide for our former players and the guys who paved the way for us.
“Probably the thing I’m most excited about is what we’ve been able to do as far as healthcare and health insurance for our former players. One thing we always say is us as active players, at some point we’ll be former players. It’s a real brotherhood with all of us that play now and those guys that played before us, so it’s pretty special.
“One thing, too, about everything that’s taken place with the deal and stuff like that, we have a special executive committee that’s built on max players, midlevel players, minimum deal players, and everyone has been active, supportive in this whole thing. It’s not a one-man show… it’s been a committee that’s been going on.”