LeBron James and the NBPA want to ensure that retired players receive more financial and medical support.

James, the vice president of the union’s executive committee, is “very optimistic” about a new collective bargaining agreement being inked shortly and wants aid for former NBA players to be a priority.

The next labor deal will reportedly include new League-funded programs to help those who no longer hoop.

Per the AP:

In exchange for those programs, and pending full approval from both sides, the split of basketball-related income would remain the same “50-50” deal as it is in the current agreement. […] Deciding on how to divvy up the revenue pie was the biggest obstacle that led to the ugly lockout five years ago. But with that issue essentially taken care of this time around, negotiations have gone much smoother as both sides look to reach an agreement on a new deal before the Dec. 15 deadline to opt out.

 

For James, NBPA President Chris Paul and the rest of the union, taking care of those who are no longer playing is a worthy compromise for trying to recoup any of the financial ground lost during the 2011 labor dispute.

 

“We got a group of guys that are in there that know the negotiations, so any way to give back and try to help our former teammates and help former players and things of that nature,” James said. “Because we’ve all built this league together. No matter how big of a guy you were or if you were the 15th guy on the bench, we all built this league into what it is today. But it’s not just my idea. I’m not taking any credit for that. But it’s all part of the process.”

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