G League players form union with assist from NBPA

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·2 min read

The NBA’s G League players have formed their own union with the assistance of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the organization announced Tuesday.

The union will temporarily be named the Basketball Players Union (BPU). Approximately 80 percent of G League players voted to authorize the group as its collective bargaining representative. They need more than 50 percent of the players to sign an authorization card to make it happen.

The G League agreed to voluntarily recognize the union and players now have the right to collectively bargain for issues such as salaries, benefits and working conditions as the NBA players do through their union.

Memphis Grizzlies forward Anthony Tolliver, the secretary-treasurer of the NBPA’s executive committee, said in a statement:

“We are extremely pleased that our brothers in the G League elected to form their own union. The many NBA players with prior experience in the G League can personally attest to the value an organized union brings to players’ careers.”

It will represent players of all G League teams, including on the newly formed Select Team. The Select Team is the one-year developmental program for the NBA that has drawn some of the best prep players in the country. NBA players on assignment with the G League and those on two-way contracts would not be covered. They are already covered by the NBPA.

Players reportedly began discussing unionizing in December while at a G League showcase in Las Vegas. They’re reportedly focused on salaries, which average about $35,000, a better benefit package and travel concerns.

Walter Lemon, Jr. lines up a free throw while practicing during the opening day of training camp for the Maine Red Claws, who will soon start their tenth season playing in the NBA G League. (Staff photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
The G League players will be represented by a union. (Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

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