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Does A’ja Wilson have a point? The top 5 NBA salaries vs. WNBA salaries in 2018

By Selena Hill,

WNBA rookie A’ja Wilson recently caused a stir on Twitter when she addressed the huge pay gap between professional women and men basketball players the day after NBA star LeBron James signed a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers worth $154 million.

Wilson followed up with a few more tweets expressing both her affinity for James and her dissatisfaction with the pay discrepancy between the earnings of male and female players. According to CNBC, women in the WNBA earn 20% of the minimum salary of an NBA player even though they’re essentially doing the same job.

Screen Shot 2018 07 18 at 9.41.30 AMThe power forward also blasted the WNBA’s pay model, which pays players about 25% of its revenue. In comparison, the NBA pays its players about 50% of league revenue.

The pay gap between NBA and WNBA players is a longstanding and well-documented issue. Wilson, for example, signed a contract with the Las Vegas Aces earlier this year for a mere $52,564 despite being the WNBA’s No. 1 draft pick and a standout collegiate player. Most of the other rookies in the league will earn even less with a starting salary of $41,202 and the average salary for most incumbent players is around $50,000. In comparison, the starting salary for the NBA for the 2018–19 season is $582,180.


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