Before 1976, the NBA wasn’t the only basketball association in America.
From 1967 until ’76, the American Basketball Association gave fans a lot of wonderful teams and tournaments and champions.
But when the ABA merged with the NBA, its history was gobbled up by the new league and many people who made a career in the ABA were left out in the cold.
When the ABA and NBA merged in 1976, many ABA players were left without paychecks, insurance, or pensions.
Now, the NBA and NBAPA have launched a new program providing annual payments to ABA veterans.
Based on years played, $25 million will be split among 115 eligible players. pic.twitter.com/LJTxPU0vET
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) July 13, 2022
All these years later, the NBA is doing something about it.
After the merge, many ABA players didn’t get paychecks, insurance, or pensions.
The NBA and NBAPA have started a new program that provides annual payments to former ABA players.
$25 million will be split among 115 eligible players.
This program has been a long time coming and it’s great to see the NBA do something to assist the unsung heroes that helped the league become what it is now.
The Proper Payout
This new agreement between the NBA and NBAPA will pay former ABA players an average of $3,828 annually for each year they participated in the league.
A player with the minimum three seasons will get $11,484 a year.
While that might not be enough to buy a house or car, it’s the right thing to do and it also sends a message: the league that exists today wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for the hard-working athletes who populated the ABA for years.
The merger between the two leagues wasn’t handled perfectly and something like this should have been done long ago.
But at least it’s being done now.
There were a whole lot of terrific players in the ABA during its heyday and it’s a shame that so many of them were treated poorly in the end.
This new program goes a little ways to addressing that.