The NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have agreed to pay former American Basketball Association (ABA) players. This is a type of welfare plan the NBA will finally provide to give back to former ABA players. Dropping Dimes has been pleading with the NBA for years for these payments.
Several retired ABA players nowadays are struggling to make ends meet. With this plan, ex-ABA players will be able to afford medical bills, rent and other living expenses. Dropping Dimes Foundation was founded by Scott Tarter and Dr. John Abrams in 2014.
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Dropping Dimes is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. When asked about the NBA’s decision, CEO Tarter replied, “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.”
Their main goal is to focus on the well-being of former ABA players and their families. They care about helping players to overcome any financial hardships. According to the main website, when the ABA folded in 1976, younger players suffered the most financially without vested pension benefits.
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The NBA is issuing recognition payments, not pensions
Furthermore, per multiple sources, the NBA and NBPA have agreed to provide former ABA players with recognition payments. The NBA will spend a total of $25 million, but this amount will not be sent to each individual player. And recognition payments are different from pensions. Approximately 115 players are eligible to receive $3,828 annually for each year they were in the league.
Therefore, if a player served four seasons, he would receive $15,312 per year. Keep in mind, the ABA started in 1967, and then it folded in 1976. A total of 11 teams competed. Freddie Lewis played for nine years, so he will receive $35,452 per year.
The pioneers of American professional basketball should have been treated with more respect many years ago. NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio commented on this decision: “Our players have a genuine sense of appreciation for those who paved the way and helped us achieve the success we enjoy today.”
Adam Silver commented after voting
NBA commissioner Adam Silver was also pleased by the voting. He said, “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.”
Based on the Dropping Dimes’ pension list, at least 10 players have died over the last three years. The NBA waited too long to issue recognition payments. Dozens of former ABA players were struggling to pay car insurance, pay off home mortgages and some were even homeless.
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