The NBA’s G League players have organized and formed a union, temporarily named the Basketball Players Union (BPU), the National Basketball Players Association announced in a press release. Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported the news (via Twitter).
According to today’s announcement, approximately 80% of players voted to unionize, and the NBA G League has agreed to voluntarily recognize the BPU as the players’ representative.
The newly-formed union will represent players on all NBA G League teams, including the Select Team that will be launched in 2020/21. However, players on two-way contracts or on NBAGL assignments from NBA rosters will continue to be repped by the NBPA.
“We are extremely pleased that our brothers in the G League elected to form their own union,” said Anthony Tolliver, a member of the NBPA’s executive committee. “The many NBA players with prior experience in the G League can personally attest to the value an organized union brings to players’ careers. We would like to especially thank Andre Ingram and John Holland who gave so much of their personal time to the organizing process.”
G League players earn $35K per season and don’t have anywhere near the same number of benefits enjoyed by NBA players. Now that they’re unionized, the BPU will have the opportunity to collective bargain salaries, benefits, and other working conditions with the NBAGL, so those negotiations will be worth keeping an eye on.