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  1. #1
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    Average Salaries in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL

    I know that it's pointless to post this article about the NBA salary levels being the highest of the 4 major pro sports, but here goes. I know people will just post the obvious, that there are fewer players so their salaries are going to be higher. The point is that an NBA player is not worth more than any other pro athlete, in fact, they make more than double what the average NFLer makes and that league makes a hell of a lot more money from their "product". Given this incredible disparity it's hard to imagine anyone defending the players' complaints in these CBA negotiations about their salaries. They are overpaid. The numbers bear it out clearly. They make more than athletes in any other league and scaling them back to the median would not be any kind of violation whatsoever. They would still be extremely generously compensated.

    These are the average salaries of players in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL. Players in the NBA are the highest paid of the four major sports leagues, while NFL players are the least paid, even though the NFL generates the most amount of money each year of all the sports leagues.

    I've been a fan of all four sports leagues for over four decades now. One of the things that has amazed me over the years is the amount of money professional athletes can now make today. Pro athletes made decent money when I was a kid in the 1970s, but nothing like what they can make in 2011. The average pro athlete in any of the four major sports leagues makes more money in one season, than the average American will make over a lifetime.

    Average Salaries in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL

    1. NBA - $5.15 million

    The average NBA player made $5.15 million in salary in 2010-11. That was easily the highest average salary of the four major sports leagues in the United States. NBA players make the most money, on average, because there are fewer NBA players than NFL players, or NHL players or major league baseball players.

    NBA teams can have a maximum of 15 players per team. There are 30 NBA teams. So there only a total of 450 NBA players. NBA teams play 82 regular season games, and the league has a long playoff season too, which generated enough income to pay the players an average of $5.15 million.

    The NBA is currently locking out its players, as the league is trying cut salaries in the league. So if the NBA plays in 2011-12, the players will earn a lower average salary, but no matter what the concessions the owners get from the players, NBA players will still be the highest paid in pro sports.

    2. MLB - $3.31 million

    With an average salary of $3.31 million, major league baseball players are the second highest paid players of the four major sports leagues. There are 25 players on each of the 30 teams in MLB, or a total of 750 players.

    MLB teams play 162 games per season, which provides a ton of games for the league to generate income from. In order to generate even more income, MLB is contemplating adding more wild card teams for the playoffs. What hurts baseball is that it is the most regional of all the major sports.

    3. NHL - $2.4 million

    NHL players make the third most money of the major sports leagues, with an average salary of $2.4 million. There are 23 players on each of the 30 NHL teams, for a total of 690 players.

    I'm surprised that NHL players make as much as they do. One of the major papers in New York City used to show the weekly ratings of sports games on TV in the New York market. NHL games were always the lowest rated of any sport, and some of the ratings were incredibly low. A Stanley Cup Finals game on NBC in 2007 was the lowest rated prime time program in NBC history.

    4. NFL - $1.9 million

    The irony of life. The NFL is easily the most popular of all the sports leagues in the United States, but NFL players make, on average, the least amount of money at $1.9 million a year. That's because of two reasons.

    Each NFL team has 53 total players. There are 32 NFL teams, for a total of 1,696 players. That's almost four times the number of players in pro football than in the NBA, over 1,000 more players than the NHL has, and well over twice as many players as MLB has.

    NFL teams only play 16 games in the regular season. That's a just a fraction of the number of games each if the other sports leagues play per year. Less games means less opportunity to generate income.

    So there are a lot more NFL players than there are NBA, NHL or MLB players, and the teams play far fewer games. The NFL still generates a ton more income than the other leagues do because NFL football is so much more popular. Plus the Super Bowl alone generates incredible income for the NFL.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ycn-10423863
    Last edited by ink; 11-13-2011 at 12:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    I get that LeBron James or Kobe Bryant bring in more income for their respective franchises, than any MLB, or NFL athlete could. I get that ARod makes $30 million.

    But the NBA players are far better compensated than any other sport in a landslide. That is what is so frustrating about this CBA. So many are acting as if the players shouldn't be giving back some of the ridiculous money they make, when its obvious they are grossly overpaid as a whole.

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

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    You both cancel your own point. While the give backs aren't terrible. It's common sense why the NBA players on average make so much. Not sure why this is even a debate. The NFL generated right around 10 billion last year and there's 53 man rosters. The NBA generated right around 4 billion last year with 13 man rosters. Do the math.
    Last edited by da ThRONe; 11-13-2011 at 12:56 PM.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by da ThRONe View Post
    You both cancel your own point. While the give backs aren't terrible. It's common sense why the NBA players on average make so much. Not sure why this is even a debate. The NFL generated right around 10 billion last year and there's 53 man rosters. The NBA generated right around 3 billion last year with 15 man rosters. Do the math.


    Come on man, you're posting exactly what I said people would post. Let's look beyond that. NBA athletes are not worth more than athletes in any other sport.

    Roster size does not make them worth more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye15 View Post
    But the NBA players are far better compensated than any other sport in a landslide. That is what is so frustrating about this CBA. So many are acting as if the players shouldn't be giving back some of the ridiculous money they make, when its obvious they are grossly overpaid as a whole.
    And because they are so seriously overpaid by the standards of other pro sports, there is tons of room for rollback without any "rights" being violated. No one has a "right" to make more than 2x what NFL players make. They almost make 2x more than MLB players make. At least if they were under-paid by the standards of other pro athletes they would have a complaint about wages, but come on. The "we gave back so much" argument is so pathetic given these numbers. Big deal if they think they gave so much back. Even with those rollbacks they will STILL be more highly paid than any other pro athletes.

    And that's during a deep recession when most of North America is suffering financially. It's kind of obscene that they can't see this.

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    Hey lets all feel bad for the billionaire owners. boo hoo!
    Deal with it


  7. #7
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    ok.

    How bout you tell me what are the average of the salarys of the highest payed players from all the teams in teh leagues.

    Because obviously if you have a roster of 15 with two or trhee stars, 5 usefull players and then 5 "scrubs" the average is not going to go down a lot.


    Now if you have a roster of 5 stars, 20 usefull players and 66 "scrubs" obviously the average is going to go down.
    ]

  8. #8
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    go tell that to the nba union, so that we can have some damn basketball

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    yeah but with that mentality you have are you trying to tell me basketball players should make the same amount of money an NFL player makes even tho they play 5 times more games than NFL players do not counting the playoffs?

    16 games the average NFL player makes 1.9 million

    82 games an average Basketball players make 5.15 million

    1.9mill NFL salary*5 times more games played than NFL player = 9.5 million basketball players should be making
    [SIGPIC]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellcrooner View Post
    ok.

    How bout you tell me what are the average of the salarys of the highest payed players from all the teams in teh leagues.

    Because obviously if you have a roster of 15 with two or trhee stars, 5 usefull players and then 5 "scrubs" the average is not going to go down a lot.


    Now if you have a roster of 5 stars, 20 usefull players and 66 "scrubs" obviously the average is going to go down.
    It's a league wide average for all 4 leagues. The issue of average salaries WITHIN the league is another thread.

    btw, that's the advantage of a hard cap system. The relative salary levels drop for the top end player and rise slightly for the others so that there is a fairer salary scale. I know you understand the value of team ...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WadeCounty View Post
    yeah but with that mentality you have are you trying to tell me basketball players should make the same amount of money an NFL player makes even tho they play 5 times more games than NFL players do not counting the playoffs?

    16 games the average NFL player makes 1.9 million

    82 games an average Basketball players make 5.15 million

    1.9mill NFL salary*5 times more games played than NFL player = 9.5 million basketball players should be making
    That logic obviously falls apart when you compare basketball to baseball. Should they average $10M then given your logic?

    The answer is: they are not paid by the game.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink View Post
    It's a league wide average for all 4 leagues. The issue of average salaries WITHIN the league is another thread.

    btw, that's the advantage of a hard cap system. The relative salary levels drop for the top end player and rise slightly for the others so that there is a fairer salary scale. I know you understand the value of team ...
    I gotta say crooner is right. Averages don't really matter. It's the distribution of salaries that matters.

  13. #13
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    If we look at averages withouth going deep into it it leads to misleading consclussions.

    Example.

    If you look at the average personal income for countrys, you may think that People in Saudi Arabia live very well and that their citizens have a lot of money.


    Problem is that is a squewed average because 10 or 20 guys in Saudi arabia earn billions lof billions while the majority of their population is poorer than rats.

    Thats the thing here.
    ]

  14. #14
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    Averages are blown out of proportion because of the huge salaries a few players make, and the relatively small rosters of the NBA teams. The MEDIAN salary (the 225th guy, or the guy exactly in the middle) is right around $2M. A full 1/3 of NBA players will never make $1M in their entire careers. Going by average salary is just Stern propoganda.
    Last edited by IndyRealist; 11-13-2011 at 01:52 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkanian215 View Post
    I gotta say crooner is right. Averages don't really matter. It's the distribution of salaries that matters.
    And the distribution ends up changing with a more effective salary cap. That's exactly what has happened in the NHL system the NBA wants to emulate. The average remains relatively high while the disparity between players is reduced.

    That is how the GMs of that league manage the hard cap and it can be very effective.

    Plus, when the union is talking in GENERAL terms about "giving up" % points they are also not talking about distribution right?

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