LAS VEGAS — The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today a new, jointly-funded program to provide recognition payments for pioneer players from the American Basketball Association (ABA). Approximately 115 former ABA players, who played at least three seasons and did not qualify for a benefit from the NBA players’ pension plan, will receive payments under this new program.
“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.”
“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.”
Under the program, recognition payments to these ABA players will approximate an annual payment of $3,828 per year of service. For example, a player with five years of ABA service will receive $19,140 annually from the NBA/NBPA program.