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The Leadership of the NBRPA Doesn’t Care About You or Me by James Donaldson

As I go about my daily activities and continuing my recovery back to good health after my most recent 10-day hospital stay which included two surgeries, I keep an eye on the leadership of the NBRPA and some of the latest activities they are trying to push in front of you,  right before your eyes.

The latest activity is trying to move ahead with the election process for new board members, including replacing the board position in which the board broke several bylaws by “railroading” through their decision to remove me from the Board of Directors. I continued to contest the “unethical” activities that took place while I was on a requested medical leave of absence, and matter of fact, hospitalized for my latest medical condition. I was not able to attend the Summer Summit in Las Vegas in July 2018, due to the fact that I had a large catheter exiting from my chest cavity into a plastic balloon to collect fluids post surgery. Due to that fact alone, I was not medically cleared to even come to Las Vegas, especially by air travel.

Below is my medical leave of absence letter which I submitted to the Board of Directors during the first couple of days of July, and it was to be made effective July 1, 2018 – October 1, 2018. The NBRPA board of directors, completely ignored my requests, never had any communication with me about it, and as is so often the case, basically “swept it under the rug” in hopes that it would go away.

I made my medical leave of absence request several days ahead of the “rigged” board conference call in which a vote was taken on whether to continue to have me on the Board of Directors or for me to forfeit my position. Please take a look at the link below to read through my requests.

James Donaldson Medical Leave of Absence Letter – July 1, 2018 (Signed)

One of the very good thing to this come out of me  speaking out to our membership group, Board of Directors, founders and others, is that I have received very positive support and encouragement of appreciation for finally “shedding some light”  on how are very dysfunctional leadership of the NBRPA  has operated over the last several years (these are all my personal observations during my seven years as a Board of Director).

Many of the members have expressed frustration on the lack of “response” from the national office in Chicago for basic requests such as financial assistance, information on existing benefits, etc. The job of the office in Chicago is to provide “customer service” (in a reasonable amount of time) for all of the members who requested. My request for medical leave, will show you that even as a Board of Director, they would not take my request seriously, so how in the world do you expect them to take your request seriously? Truth be told, the only NBRPA members who receive any type of respectful service or benefits, are our Hall of Famer’s, Board of Directors, and that’s about it. If you don’t fall into one of those categories, good luck on getting any type of “return on investment”  of your $300 plus a year in annual membership dues. It’s just not going to happen.  Basically the NBRPA, is an organization in which to keep 95% of us retired professional basketball players, out of the market, clinging onto hope that some “revenue-generating opportunities” will trickle down to us, meanwhile the NBA, continues to use the top 5% of high profile retired NBA players anytime they need appearances done by retired players. You can’t fault them, they can always say that they are “utilizing the retired players”, they are just not utilizing members from our association. They never have and they never will.

If you have a college-age child, okay, that’s fine you can apply for scholarships with the scholarship fund, but as one member told me recently, he was awarded $2600 to send his daughter off to a university in which the annual tuition is $60,000. $2600 only (barely) pays for the airfare for him and his daughter back and forth to college, so when you think about it, how much of a benefit is that really.

If you have interest in going back to school, we do have affiliations with a couple of online universities, in which you can study from the comforts of home in front of your computer, to obtain licenses, certifications and/or degrees, if that’s your interest. Again, very few of our members will have that kind of interest, especially years at retirement,  when they have other priorities such as continuing to generate their own income to keep a “roof over their head”,  children and grandchildren coming about, health status starting to get “iffy”, so very few of us are going to take advantage of the opportunities.

I will be sharing with you my more than two dozen correspondences with the Board of Directors during my seven years as a board member. I want you to see that  I’ve always been very proactive, professional,  tactful, and trying to keep the focus of what our association is all about, on the members, and not so much on the benefits/incentives that go towards the national office in Chicago. Also, I’ve used the opportunity many times, to call attention to the board of directors, that some of their activities, behaviors, and expectations, have been totally out of line, but because these letters typically do not make it out of a board meeting or even into the minutes of the board meetings, the members are never aware that these things take place. I am here to let the members become aware.

As several members have already done, I encourage all of you to reach out to me directly to either my email address or call me directly on my cell phone, and I’ll be more than happy to communicate with you what I know, and to clarify any questions that you may have about your membership as well.

Thank you very much, I am still “in the dark” as to why the actions pertaining to removing me from the Board of Directors, took place in the first place. The only thing that comes to mind, is supposedly I “disrespected” founders Archie Clark and Dave Cowens. I’ve had perhaps one or two conversations with Archie Clark over the years, usually trying to get him to move on from the “Kumbaya” mindset that he tries to instill amongst the board members, and to try to get him to understand that with this board in particular, you need to be “proactive” and to “shed light” on things that are not done properly. I’ve never had a significant conversation with Dave Cowens, other than to say hello and goodbye at the beginning and ending of board meetings, and that is it. So when they talk about “disrespecting” I have no idea what they’re talking about. I am asking the Board of Directors to provide additional information to myself so I can eventually have a chance to defend these allegations/accusations.

Thanks for your time and attention to this matter, and I’ll keep the information coming,  and as I mentioned earlier, if you have any questions, reach out to me directly if you would like.

Always here for you,

NBRPA member,

James Donaldson


One comment on “The Leadership of the NBRPA Doesn’t Care About You or Me by James Donaldson

  1. James I been saying this along I completely agree with you since the demotion of Charles Smith who to me was getting every member involve in all activities and getting paid for appearances it been going down. The fact is we need our Hall of Famers to be the front runners understandably but that doesn’t mean you push the rest of us to the pastures.We know that the Allstars and Hall of Famers would get paid more on opportunities that present itself but they dwindle the funds amongst all of us this is why I loved Charles when he was the President he was fair and honest I remember one trip where I and a Hall of Famer who remains nameless was on strip he got paid 25,000 he brought the people out well deserved but I made 10,000 and was happy not saying Charles was perfect but he was fare. We as players know how the league works it been that way for along time know your role and get slotted. The board we have now don’t care about the members who are not Hall of Famers sorry to say.

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