In a correspondence to players addressing the uncertainty surrounding the NBA’s indefinite suspension of play, the National Basketball Players Association on Friday spelled out terms on a doomsday provision included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that could free owners from paying players a percentage of their salaries should the rest of the season be lost to the coronavirus pandemic.
The CBA includes a clause called the Force Majeure Event that includes multiple dramatic scenarios — including epidemics — that the league could trigger in the event of a worst case scenario. Other instances that could trigger the clause include natural disasters and war.
The next scheduled paycheck for players comes on Sunday and those will be fulfilled.
Sources say that there’s been no discussion among the league and NBPA about triggering that provision — especially because there remains hope that the season can be resumed with completion of a postseason that could potentially be pushed back into mid-summer.
In the email, the union told players that there had been no discussion with the league on the provision.
According to Article XXXIX, Section 5 in the CB, players lose 1/92.6 of their salary for every game missed as a result of a Force Majeure Event (“FME”) — this refers to events or conditions that makes it impossible for the NBA to perform its obligation under the CBA.
Commissioner Adam Silver plans to miss a minimum of 30 days before it can even begin to hope for a resumption of play.
NBA front office insider Bobby Marks contributed to this report.