Everybody knows professional athletes make pretty good money; the superstars practically get their salaries delivered by the truckloads. Based on the average salary of professional basketball players—$5.15 million—you’d be hard pressed to find one of them who’d take you seriously if you told them we’re currently in a depressed economy.
To help put these types of salaries into perspective, here’s a look at the salaries of the starting five Los Angeles Lakers, as well as their per-game wages and a few other numbers that might leave you dizzy and frustrated.
Los Angeles Lakers starting five:
- Kobe Bryant makes $27,849,000 per season, or $339,622 per game.
- Dwight Howard makes $19,261,200 per season, or $234,893 per game.
- Pau Gasol makes $19,000,000 per season, or $231,707 per game.
- Steve Nash makes $8,900,000 per season, or $108,537 per game.
- Metta World Peace makes $7,258,960 per season, or $88,524 per game.
In case you forgot to carry the one, or your calculator ran out of numbers, that’s a combined annual salary of $82,268,200 for just five players!
Home Sweet Home
The Staples Center, where the Lakers have played since 1999, seats 18,997 fans, with an average ticket price of $113 per seat. To cover the per-game salaries of $1,003,270 for their starting five, the Lakers require 8,878 fans buying a ticket per game. The team has sold out every regular season home game (41 games per season) since 2007, which definitely helps pay a lot of big salaries.
To Protect and Serve
We know this isn’t a typical paycheck for most people, but how does it stack up? So we thought we’d look into what a police officer makes in the City of Angeles. At an average annual rate of $46,000 for the honor of carrying an LAPD shield—perhaps not even enough money to have spare funds to attend a single Lakers home game—it would take one of LA’s finest 21 years to make what Kobe and friends make in a single night on the hardwood.
What do you think of this? Do you think the Laker’s deserve this kind of payout more than someone who puts their life on the line to protect the city each night?