NBA, NBPA reach agreement on reduced player payment plan as coronavirus keeps league in holding pattern

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are hoping the 2019-20 season can resume in the near future, but they are preparing for the possibility of games being canceled.

In a statement released Friday evening, the NBA and NBPA announced they have reached an agreement on a plan to reduce player payments in the event regular-season and/or playoff games are lost because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

MORE: Sports figures who have tested positive for COVID-19

"Through this agreement, and in order to provide players with a more gradual salary reduction schedule, partial reductions of 25 percent will begin with the players' twice-a-month payment due on May 15," the statement said. "The CBA stipulates that the compensation of all NBA roster players shall be reduced in the event of a 'force majeure' event, such as an epidemic or government order, in accordance with a formula based on the n

umber of games missed." 

"Force majeure" events are covered under Article XXXIX, Section 5 of the CBA:

"Force Majeure Event" shall mean the occurrence of any of the following events or conditions, provided that such event or condition either (i) makes it impossible for the NBA to perform its obligations under this Agreement, or (ii) frustrates the underlying purpose of this Agreement, or (iii) makes it economically impracticable for the NBA to perform its obligations under this Agreement: wars or war-like action (whether actual 468 Article XXXIX or threatened and whether conventional or other, including, but not limited to, chemical or biological wars or war-like action); sabotage, terrorism or threats of sabotage or terrorism; explosions; epidemics; weather or natural disasters, including, but not limited to, fires, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornados, storms or earthquakes; and any governmental order or action (civil or military); provided, however, that none of the foregoing enumerated events or conditions is within the reasonable control of the NBA or an NBA Team.

If the season does resume at some point this summer, the money taken through the reductions could later be returned to the players. If games are lost, then team owners would be able to keep a percentage of the wages. 

The NBA currently has no plans to cancel the season, and it could be June 15 before players know whether games will be canceled, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters Friday night that the league is not in a position to make a decision about the season.

Prior to the agreement on the payment plan, players were receiving standard paychecks. NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspended the season on March 11 following a positive COVID-19 test for Jazz center Rudy Gobert.