NBA G League Players Form Union

Jul 21, 2020, 11:40 AM
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(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Players from the G League have organized and formed their own union according to the National Basketball Players Association. The NBPA teamed with players from the G League to form the Basketball Players Union. According to the statement from the NBPA, an overwhelming majority of players voted in support of the union formation.

“Approximately 80 percent (80%) of G League players voted to authorize the BPU to serve as their collective bargaining representative.  Further, the NBA G League agreed to voluntarily recognize the BPU as the players’ representative.”

The league received a significant financial commitment from Gatorade when the sports drink company bought the naming rights in 2017. The league has added six new franchises since 2017 beginning the total to 28 teams.

In April, the league announced the formation of the Select Team which will give prep players an opportunity to being their pro career in the G Leaguer right out of high school rather than opting to play in college. Salaries for players on the Select Team begin at $125,000 for the duration of the five-month G League season.

Salt Lake City Stars Will Be Part of G League Union

The Salt Lake City Stars are one of 28 G League teams that will be made up of members from the Basketball Players Union. The Stars played their inaugural season in Utah in 2016-17. The Utah Jazz relocated the Boise-based Idaho Stampede in April 2016.

“We are extremely pleased that our brothers in the G League elected to form their own union,” said Anthony Tolliver, Secretary-Treasurer 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.”

According to the release, G League players will now have access to “protections afforded to union-represented employees and the right to collectively bargain on a variety of matters, including, but not limited to, salaries, benefits and other working conditions.”

The Stars finished the 2019-20 with a franchise-best 30-12 record. Coach Martin Schiller was named G League Coach of the Year before accepting a job to become head coach of Zalgiris Kaunas, a member of the Lithuanian Basketball League.

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