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The NBA is taking care of the players of 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.
All the players played at least three seasons and did not qualify for the NBA pension plan.
“Both our current players and team governors felt the 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 significant contributions to help grow professional basketball and we all believe it is appropriate to financially recognize this group for their impact.”
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The “Dropping Dimes Foundation,” a nonprofit organization seeking to help former ABA players who were not part of the NBA/ABA merger, has been lobbying the NBA to offer assistance to former players since 2014.
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“It’s an amazing day for former ABA players, one that we and the players have been waiting for and working so hard for many years.” said scott tarterCEO and founder of Dropping Dimes.
the The NBA and ABA merged in 1976, and all four ABA teams still remain 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 ABA players to be 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 each year of service for a total of $11,484 per year.