How did the National Basketball Players Association form and come into being? all you need to know

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is a union that protects and supports the rights and interests of NBA players. The association has existed since 1954 and has helped its members achieve several major goals.

The NBPA is made up of active NBA players. It has its president, its vice-presidents and each team in the league has its representative.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the National Basketball Players Association, its goals, history and current direction.


CJ McCollum is the current president of the National Basketball Players Association.

The National Basketball Players Association has a unique leadership structure. As in most countries, the association has a president who serves a four-year term. The current president is CJ McCollum of the New Orleans Pelicans.

McCollum was elected in 2021 after serving as vice president for three years. The Pelicans sniper replaced Chris Paul, who served two terms as president from 2013 to 2021.

CJ McCollum is president of the National Basketball Players Association (Image via Getty Images)
CJ McCollum is president of the National Basketball Players Association (Image via Getty Images)

Chris Paul has done a lot for NBA players. He led the NBPA in the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which dramatically improved player salaries. Paul has also successfully negotiated benefits for active and retired players.

The current ABC spans the 2023-24 season, and McCollum will represent NBA players in the upcoming negotiation. However, given that the league has been very profitable lately, team owners and the National Basketball Players Association should easily agree to new terms.

Aisde de McCollum, here are the other important players involved with the NBPA:

  • Andre Iguodala – First Vice President
  • Harrison Barnes – Secretary Treasurer
  • Bismack Biyombo – Vice-president
  • Malcolm Brogdon – Vice-president
  • Jaylen Brown – Vice-president
  • Kyrie Irving – Vice-president
  • Garrett Temple – Vice-president
  • Grant Williams – Vice-president
Kyrie Irving is one of the vice presidents of the National Basketball Players Association (Image via Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving is one of the vice presidents of the National Basketball Players Association (Image via Getty Images)

Each NBA team also has its representative in the National Basketball Players Association. At the start of each NBA season, teams choose their representatives and potential replacements.

These players serve as their team’s delegates at representative meetings. They have the right to speak on behalf of their teammates and are also in charge of the selective leadership of the union.


The story

The roots of the NBPA date back to 1954 with Bob Cousy. Cousy mailed every NBA team and asked for their support in approaching the NBA president Maurice Podoloff.

Cousy and other players demanded better league terms and benefits. Podoloff granted some of their requests, but he refused to recognize the players’ association.

The first days of National Association of Basketball Players were quite difficult. Pension plan negotiations culminated in the 1964 All-Star Game strike. The All-Stars refused to take to the field just before the game, forcing team owners to agree to their demands.

Bob Cousy started forming a union in 1954 (Image via Getty Images)
Bob Cousy started forming a union in 1954 (Image via Getty Images)

The situation has improved considerably over the past decades. However, the league has had to endure three different lockouts, the last of which was in 2011.

The ABC expired in July 2011 and the league had to negotiate a new contract with the NBPA. Unfortunately, the two parties could not reach an agreement, which resulted in a lockout and a shortcut NBA season.

After reaching an agreement, the 2011–12 season started on December 25, 2011 and was shortened to 66 games.

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Edited by Hans Themistode

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