Pro-Bitcoin entrepreneur and Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is planning to turn his three-year $34.36-million contract into a digital investment vehicle, despite a firm pushback from the National Basketball Association.
Contrary to the NBA, Dinwiddie says his new Ethereum-based platform “DREAM Fan Shares, which allows fans and investors to buy tokenized shares of his three-year contract, does not violate their agreement. It simply allows him earlier access to the capital represented in his contract.
The NBA, however, claims that Dinwiddie’s platform goes against their collective bargaining agreement. In a statement sent to the New York Times last month, the NBA states that by selling tokenized shares of his contract, the athlete is effectively engaging a third party in a manner that is strictly prohibited.
“According to recent reports, Spencer Dinwiddie intends to sell investors a ‘tokenized security’ that will be backed by his player contract. The described arrangement is prohibited by the C.B.A., which provides that ‘no player shall assign or otherwise transfer to any third party his right to receive compensation from the team under his uniform player contract.’”
Dinwiddie disagrees. His approach is novel, groundbreaking and controversial. The entrepreneur, who supports Bitcoin, explains in a tweetstorm his interpretation of the contract, why he believes it belongs to him and why he believes he’s free to leverage it – by engaging with third parties. He also explains why he has delayed the initial launch date of October 14th.
“We were ready to open on the 14th but in the spirit of partnership, we are pushing it back a week to try and allow the NBA sufficient time to respond.
Having been on the ground in China, we are sensitive to what the NBA has been dealing with.
This is why we are giving them additional time as our goal is to partner.
Regardless of the NBA’s position, we will move forward. Therefore we will launch on Oct. 21st, a week from our original date and before the start of the NBA season.
Even with our desire to partner with the NBA, it is not necessary. And I want to be clear, this is not and never was an ‘assignment’ nor am I in violation of the CBA. By definition an ‘assignment’ would give fans rights towards the Nets/NBA.
This is a third party business transactions between the fans and I beyond the jurisdictions of those entities. Much like the way no one can tell me which home or car I can buy, I am free to use my money the way I see fit.
To continue to suggest anything else is deliberately misleading the public.
Quite simply the market will determine the demand for this previously untapped asset class. There will be a bevy of information at their disposal and accredited investors (for the first offering) will be able to make an informed decision. As we have witnessed, any great business that is built upon its consumers knows how to listen to the demands of that base and adjust as necessary.
Although we are individual assets in this instance we are a part of a collective family in the sports/entertainment world as a whole and those same fans should be involved and empowered to determine what their appetite entails.
Lastly, as we speak about freedoms domestically and urge athletes to offer comments on situations they maybe weren’t prepared for, it would be a shame if we try to abuse our power to limit similar liberties that can be beneficial to all parties involved due to misunderstanding.”
You can check out Dinwiddie’s full remarks here.