National Basketball Players Association

National Basketball Players Association

The National Basketball Players Association (the NBPA) is a trade association that represents basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). It was previously a labor union before dissolving during the 2011 NBA lockout. It was founded in 1954, making it the oldest trade union of the four major North American professional sports leagues. However, the NBPA did not get recognition by the NBA team owners until ten years later. Its offices are located in the historic Park and Tilford Building at 310 Lenox Ave., New York City, New York.[1]



Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics began to organize the union in 1954.[2] At that time, the league had no health benefits, nor pension plan, nor minimum salary, and the average player's salary was $8,000 a season ($67,000 in 2011 dollars). Over the next decade, the salaries increased, and the owners finally recognized the NBPA in 1964, after players had threatened to walk out of the NBA All-Star Game.

Salary cap

In 1983, players and owners reach a historic agreement, that introduced the "salary cap" era into professional sports. This was believed[by whom?] to be the first salary cap in any major professional sports league in the United States.

1995 NBA labor dispute

The NBA experienced its first work stoppage, when owners imposed a lockout, that lasted from July 1 through September 12, when players and owners reached an agreement. Because the lockout took place during the off-season, no games were lost.

1998–99 Lockout

The second NBA lockout, which ran into the 1998-99 season, lasted almost 200 days, and wiped out 464 regular-season games. After players and owners reached an agreement, the season did not start until February 5, 1999, with each of the 29 NBA teams playing a 50-game schedule.

2011 Lockout

The current collective bargaining agreement was reached in July 2005, and expired at 12:01 EST on July 1, 2011, following completion of the 2010-11 NBA season, resulting in a lockout, similar to the 2011 NFL lockout. ESPN has reported that the owners and players failed to reach an agreement and broke off negotiations, and that the owners began a lockout immediately after the collective bargaining agreement expired.[3]

On November 14, the NBPA was converted from a union into a trade association, enabling the players as individual employees to be represented by lawyers in a class action antitrust lawsuit against the league, calling the lockout an illegal group boycott.[4][5][6]


Executive Directors

  • Larry Fleisher: 1970–1988
  • Charles Grantham: 1988–1995
  • Simon Gourdine: 1995–1996
  • Alex English: 1996 (Interim)
  • Billy Hunter: 1996–Present



  1. ^ Cindy Hamilton (July 2008). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Park and Tilford Building". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  2. ^ Bradley, Robert. "Labor Pains Nothing New to the NBA". Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  3. ^ Sheridan, Chris (30 June 2011). "NBA says it will lock out players". ESPN. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Newcomb, Tim (November 15, 2011). "NBA Players Look to Disband Union: Will There Be a Season At All?". TIME. Archived from the original on November 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ Beck, Howard (November 15, 2011). "N.B.A. Season in Peril as Players Reject Offer". The New York Times: p. A1. Archived from the original on November 15, 2011. 
  6. ^ Hunter, G. William; Fisher, Derek; The NBPA Executive Committee. "NBPA disclaimer". ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on November 15, 2011. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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