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NBA will begin withholding 25% of players’ salaries during COVID-19 pandemic


Coronavirus strikes again

Houston Rockets' James Harden (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The NBA will begin withholding 25% of each NBA player's check beginning May 15, according to an ESPN report.

The league and players' union announced the agreement on Friday.

What are the details?

The agreement, set between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, goes into effect due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The NBA suspended its season in March after Utah's Rudy Gobert tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

According to ESPN, "The agreement clears the way for a gradual reduction in player salaries should the force majeure provision in the collective bargaining agreement be enacted with the cancellation of regular season games."

The players are expected to receive backpay in the event that the league resumes regular season games.

"Otherwise," the report notes, "teams would keep a percentage of the money based on the cancellation of games."

The outlet predicts that NBA players stand to lose approximately 23% to 26% of their season salary if NBA games do not resume.

The NBA has no current plans to announce the cancellation of regular season games. The union says it told players that they may have to wait till June 15 to find out whether games are cancelled, and, if so, how many.

What else?

The force majeure provision covers a variety of "catastrophic circumstances," including, but not limited to, epidemics and pandemics. The collective bargain agreement stipulates that the force majeure is triggered once there is a cancellation of games because of such events.

"The NBA doesn't want a scenario in which it has to pursue players for payment on cancelled games, which is part of why the NBA and NBPA spent the last several weeks negotiating so the players would have the ability to budget the loss of income on this season's salary over an extended period," ESPN reports.

On Friday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that the league is in no place to consider the resumption of games at this point in time. He also acknowledged the suspension has had a "huge financial impact" on the NBA because "no revenue'' is coming in.

"The sense of our board was that the safety, health, and well-being of our players, coaches, fans, everyone involved in our game, is paramount,'' Silver said following the spring Board of Governors meeting that was held remotely, according to the New York Post. "Based on the reports we have gotten from various outside officials, current public health officials, we are not in a position to make any decisions, and it's unclear when we will be."

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