NBA to create $24.5 million program for former ABA players: 'This will be life changing for them'

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Freddie Lewis was an original member of the Indiana Pacers and played eight seasons with the team.

INDIANAPOLIS — The NBA board of governors voted Tuesday to pay $24.5 million to former American Basketball Association players, many of whom are struggling to pay rent, medical bills and buy the basic necessities to live.

The agreement reached by the NBA and its players association ends a years-long battle launched by the Indianapolis-based Dropping Dimes Foundation.

Dropping Dimes, a non-profit founded in 2014 to help struggling former ABA players and their families, has been pleading with the NBA to give players of the now-defunct ABA the money it says they deserve.

About 115 players are eligible for the payout, which the NBA is calling “recognition payments,” not pensions. Those players either spent three or more years in the ABA or played at least three combined years in the ABA and NBA and never received a vested pension from the NBA.



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