Why are basketball players paid so high?

Because the team owners make obscene amounts of money from their customers, me and you and millions of others. And the players unionized in order to demand a significant portion of that money, which the owners couldn’t make without them. Owners, knowing that the entire reason anyone buys tickets, merchandise, or cable subscribtions, is because they want to watch the players, gave in and paid the players what they deserved.

Seriously, before the 1960s and 70s, most professional athletes had to get second jobs in the off-season just to survive, because they didn’t even make what a full time minimum wage earner would make in the course of a year. (The National Basketball Players Association is actually the first, and earliest, player’s union, starting in 1954 and finally being recognized by the NBA a decade later, but I’m speaking of pro sports in general here.) They organized, fought for fair pay, and won. It’s a story that was repeated many times in all sorts of industries throughout the 20th century.

Pro-sports were one of the last, because so many thought it was absurd that people would make decent money playing a game. But nobody seemed to think it was absurd that owners made millions for hosting games, interestingly enough.

Like every profession that deals with mass media, there is a small group of basketball players with very high wages. Professional players usually have a low average income and very high top wages everywhere in the world. For example, in Brazil the average soccer wage is around US$ 5,000 to US$ 10,000, but the top players earn from US$ 1,000,000 to US$ 3,000,000.

Professional sports in US is not a free market and is very distorted, with salary restriction and no payment in university level, but I think US also have the same trend.

And why mass media professions (like actors, sport players, tv hosters) have high top salaries? If you can influence 1% of your country population to spend US$ 100 (a jersey, a video game, a ticket), you are responsible for US$ 300 million market in US. So, you can negotiate 10% of this income and earn US$ 30 millions/year.

Few people can do this and they worth a lot.

In sports, you have a lot of rules to limit how you can improve your team spending more money. For example, you can’t hire 10x more players and put 50 players in the basketball court. Any other industry does exact this to expand and to stay ahead of the competition.

So, you can only expend more money paying more to the same players, hoping you get better players from other teams. You can’t substitute 3 great players (seniors and specialists) for 15 below average players (like interns or trainees).

Another factor: you can’t buy competitors. Companies buy other companies to have economies of scale and to reduce overall competition (sorry, real free market does not always enhance competition).

In any other industry Warriors would buy Clippers and Kings, Celtics would buy Knicks and Nets. That would reduce overall competition, reduce job position, raise unemployment and reduce salaries.

Basketball players are payed highly because of various reasons.

Reason 1: Basket ball is a big sport. Generally, if a sport is popular, it gets broadcasted across channels, and that makes the company who broadcasted it money (ads.) If it was not popular, nobody would broadcast it and companies will get no money. So they need people to play so they can earn money. But if you were smart, you wouldn’t want to give a company money without getting something out of it. So, the companies/sponsors give the players money.

Reason 2: Since basketball is so big, many people PLAY. So, only the best ones get on to get paid money, which means over 99% of the sport’s community don’t get paid to play, showing basketball takes SKILL.

Reason 3: Sponsors that buy teams (for advertisement) keep the show running, which means they pick the team that is the best so they can get their message out. So, they pick the winning teams. So, no sponsors = not much money (at least compared to the people who do.) Showing that their skill makes money.

-Answered by a sports loving kid.

Well, I’m going to take a macro approach here.

And I may be biased here as an old savvy, losing-my-hair-ex-pro point guard, but if I had worked myself into the .06% (the NBA level), I’d have made more money than I did playing in Europe. But since, I wasn’t good enough (or they thought I wasn’t good enough), I went to the next place that would pay me the next best salary. Europe. South America. China. Now, not everyone gets to do that either. I was in the top 1% of all the basketball players in the world and got paid differently each season (and typically, most players get paid for what they did the season before).

Then I think the last tier is players playing in college as 3–5% of high school players get scholarships and get paid through a free education, food, lodging, etc… still very hard to do!

My point is this:

If you are in the top .06% of your job or career field, how much money would you make?

Internet marketing—- rich.

Real estate— rich.

Making yachts— rich.

Coaching— rich.

Making leather purses— rich.

All these people are overpaid and if you were in the top .06%, you’d be crushing it, riding in Bentleys blowing money on Ferraris, personal islands, and VIP tables like Lamar Odom in his prime!!!

Okay, maybe that was a bit much, but the real question is how do we get to the top 1% if that is our goal?

A whole lot of work.

A whole lot of learning and growth.

A whole lot of ups and downs.

As Tom Izzo once told me, “It doesn’t matter where you are, matters where you are going.”

Most non-pro athletes don’t know how much work that takes and how much natural talent you must have to get into the top .06% of the world’s population inside your career.

Me personally, I’d rather just live on coconut juice in Costa Rica with my friends in complete gringo anonymity, where my dollar goes a long ways and people aren’t neurotic…

It’s simple, NBA players get paid millions of dollars every year because they are more than just basketball players, they are also entertainers and public figures.

There’s no more than 450 players in the league every season since the NBA expanded to 30 teams, only 450. That’s just a handful of players when you compare it to other pro-leagues.

When you are one of those select 450 players you are paid to play in front of crowds of over 15,000 people every other night, you’re paid to travel around the country, you’re paid to perform on live TV, you’re paid to talk to the media, you’re paid to entertain millions of fans. Basketball players are put under high amounts of mental and physical stress and pressure, they get paid accordingly.

The NBA simply has the money for it. Think about it, a lot of advertising, sponsorships, sponsorships from companies like Nike, Addidas, Under Armor, etc., many fans buying tickets, those who buy the league passes, and fans who buy NBA merchandise. From the 2015–2016 season, NBA made $6.5 billion alone and is expected to earn even more yearly. So why are the players paid so high? They have the talent and skill in basketball that not even the best guy who goes to the park nearby your house has and not even the best guy on a high school team may have those skills. Even with their skills, what if they’re lacking in size? So to sum it up, NBA players are paid so high because the NBA revenue allows for it and NBA players are rare individuals who successfully make it to the league.

All the answers I’ve seen discuss how exceptional professional basketball players are. Now, that’s all well and good but does not matter at all. This is an economics question.

The NBA is extremely popular and the NFL is going through some issues. The NBA season is 82 games long and that leads to a ton of revenue for the league. From ticket sales and most importantly TV deals.

With the rise of netflix and other streaming applications live tv has become much less value able. That is, except for events that have an added element to watching live. This is a major reason why networks are paying so much for the NBA because they’re other programming is becoming less desirable to advertisers.

The leads to more money being generated by the NBA and like any business this will get down to the employees to maintain stability within the organization preventing strikes or other protests.

Supply and Demand, there are few people in the world who can play basketball at the high quality is takes in the NBA, as a result of this people are willing to pay more to see them play as it is rare. This is what had led to the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, despite not making the playoffs for the last three or four years, having absurdly high revenues of $376 million and $333 million. Even the New Orleans Pelicans, a small market team, who excluding being swept in the first round in 2015, haven’t made the playoffs since 2010 have a revenue of $156 million, the lowest in the league. As NBA teams have this much money they can afford to play their players so much and still turn a profit.

The Business Of Basketball

Well there is not a good anwer here. You see at every sport, the top players must have higher salary.For example if a mediocre player have a salary of 10.000.000 dollars anually a top one should have a bigger one, because the player himself will want more money This is not happening only in NBA but everywhere.

There are only 12 players on a NBA team. Baseball and football teams have way more players. Only having 12 players allows them to be payed more.

well compared to the amount of money the NBA as a whole makes, it’s really not that much.