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O’Brien, Lawrence (MS 504)

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Lawrence F. O’Brien (LOB) had a long and illustrious career in national politics before being named Commissioner of the National Basketball Association in 1975. He ran the campaigns of Democratic Party nominees for U.S. president in 1960, 1964, 1968, and 1972 and was twice Chairman of the Democratic Party. During his tenure at the NBA, LOB negotiated several landmark labor agreements with the Players Association and record-setting television contracts before retiring from the NBA in 1984. In 1982 he was awarded an honorary degree from Springfield College.

This collection documents Lawrence F. O’Brien’s tenure as Commissioner of the National Basketball Association from 1975 to 1984. More than half of the collection is comprised of governance and administrative information about the policies and procedures and day-to-day operations of the NBA. Records include the meeting agendas and minutes of the board and its committees. Of particular note are the legal settlements and collective bargaining agreements with players especially the 1976 Oscar Robertson suit.