by Kurt Badenhausen – Translation: M. Bahadır Akgün / [email protected]
All rights of this translation belong to Eurohoops Ltd. Şti. And the unauthorized use of all or part of it is strictly prohibited.
This article was first published on Forbes on 29 January 2021 and translated into adaptation.
The season in the NBA started last month and it didn’t take even two weeks for the coronavirus outbreak to undermine the calendar. 22 matches were postponed, in other matches the teams had to use limited squads. While critics question the playing of basketball during the epidemic, NBA players have as many as three billion reasons to take to the court. This is the biggest motivation for the league’s 400-odd players coming to the field this season.
Salaries in the NBA have skyrocketed over the past 30 years, with the pre-COVID-19 salary average rising to $ 9.5 million per player. That’s twice the average for baseball players and more than three times the average for American Football players. There are 44 NBA players who will earn at least $ 25 million this season. This number is seven in the MLB and 12 in the NFL (This number has dropped to 34 in the NBA due to the coronavirus epidemic.) Of course, smaller squads and large broadcast deals increase the salaries of the players of course. While the NBA was the only league with an upper cap on individual salaries, these gains continued to grow.
Including his off-court earnings, LeBron James is the NBA’s highest-earning player for seven years in a row. The sponsorship is expected to earn $ 95.4 million, including $ 64 million in press revenues. This amount, which means a record for an NBA player, is also a record in the history of US team sports. By the end of this historic year, his career, including off-field income of $ 700 million, will approach $ 1 billion. In this sense, it will be the name that reached 10-digit numbers after Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
James, who has four MVP awards, earns $ 39.2 million from the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020-21 season, but James and all other NBA players will receive a 20% salary discount as a result of a contract to share the league’s falling revenues. He will lose about $ 8 million in total, so players who earn $ 100+ million a year will also miss the opportunity to join his club. Woods and Mayweather were the only US players to achieve this before.