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Report: Players union to set up fund to help retired, destitute players medical expenses

Michele Roberts, the Executive Director of National Basketball Players Association

Michele Roberts, the Executive Director of National Basketball Players Association

The Washington Post/Getty Images

When you read about NBA players of the 1950s and ‘60s, one familiar theme comes up: A lot of them had to have other jobs in the off-season to pay their bills. There were not millions of dollars and cushy lifestyles. And while the stories of NBA players who blew ridiculous fortunes are out there, more common is the player who was in and out of the league for a couple seasons and never made that kind of life-changing money.

The NBA players union wants to set up a fund to help those players with their medical expenses.

Adrian Wojnarowski has the story at Yahoo Sports.

The National Basketball Players Association is proposing to use millions of dollars of its share of the NBA’s impending television revenue windfall to cover health-care insurance costs for its former players, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The plan is estimated to cost between $10 million-$15 million a year and a vote on passage of the union’s initiative is set for the NBPA’s July 20 membership meeting in Las Vegas. The union’s 30 team player representatives are expected to pass the plan with ease and start the process of covering the retired players quickly, league sources said.

This is a good move. This is what a union should do — help take care of its members, past and present. These are the guys who helped build the foundation that the very lucrative NBA was built upon; there should be a fund to help those that need it with medical expenses. Good on Michele Roberts for pushing the union this direction.

This is the kind of thing that all that new television revenue should go to, not just to further line the owners’ and players’ pockets.