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Why do NBA players get paid more than NFL players?

Updated on December 5, 2011

The Truth Shall Set You Free

This is a question that puzzles me. Why do NBA players get paid more than NFL players? Don't get me wrong, I like both sports, but when comparing job duties, risks, etc., there is really no comparison. Each sport has plenty of fans and both have specific duties and responsibilities, but when it comes down to it, football players have the upper hand. Compared to basketball players, football players have more responsibilities and take more risks each game and season they play. NBA players may catch an elbow to the face from time to time, pull a hamstring, or sprain an ankle. NFL players injure the same as basketball players, but their risk of getting hurt is greater than of a NBA player. Football players are also more prone to concussions, which is very dangerous, especially if it is repeated! One wrong hit and they could end up paralyzed or not be able to play ever again! As far as job duties go, I also give the football players the advantage. There is more difficulty to how football is played and what each position requires.

Players Jobs/Description Of Game

There are 5 positions in basketball: shooting guard, point guard, power forward, small forward, and center. The point guard has the ball most of the time and they are the best at dribbling. They are often the ones dribbling the ball up the court on offense, while the other players get set in their positions. The shooting guard's job is to get open and make a shot or find another open player to pass to. The small forward is versatile. They can either shoot from long range or go up to get a rebound. Power forwards stay in the painted area, trying to make short shots, lay ups, or to get rebounds. Some are good at making long shots. The center is usually the best at blocking shots on defense. On offense, they usually are the ones getting rebounds and scoring points when close to the basket. The game consists of 4 quarters and last 12 minutes per quarter. The game last longer due to timeouts, fouls, injuries, overtime, etc.

A football players job is a little more technical, depending on which position they are playing. The quarterback throws the ball or hands it off. The punter punts or kicks the ball down the field. The kicker kicks the ball to make fieldgoals or extra points. Wide recievers run to catch the ball down the field. Running backs/half backs get the ball handed off to them to run the ball. The center hikes the ball to the quarterback and blocks for him. Fullbacks are responsible for run-blocking or pass-blocking, which means they block for their teammate running with the ball. A tightend can be used as a reciever or a blocker. Offensive tackle and offensive guards line up on the line to block for the quarterback, to give him time to get rid of the ball. A defensive end either contains the running back on a run play or rushes the quarterback on a pass play. The nose tackle is supposed to try to stop the run and distract the offensive lineman to keep them from blocking the linebackers. Linebackers are the second line of defense. Basically, their job is to stop the play when the first line of defense can not. A cornerback usually covers a wide receiver. A safety's primary dutie is to help the cornerbacks in pass coverage. There is a free safety and a strong safety. A free safety is the teams last line of defense in the secondary. He basically waits for the play to develop and breaks it up in the end. A strong safety's duties are split up between stopping the run play or breaking up the pass play. The game has 4 quarters and last 15 minutes per quarter. The game last longer than this due to timeouts, injuries, overtime, reviews, penalties, etc.

Players Salaries After The Lockout

NBA players receive 51.15% of BRI(base revenue) in 2011-2012. In later seasons, they receive 49% to 51% of BRI. Minimum salary for new players is anywhere from $400,000 to over $1,000,000. As of right now, the highest paid player makes a little over $25,000,000 a year. That's $125,000,000 for 5 years.

NFL players receive 48% of all revenue, but owners take credit for stadium investments. Minimum salaries range anywhere from $375,000 to $900,000. Minimum salaries have increased to $55,000 over 2010 and will rise $15,000 each year. The highest paid player in the NFL today makes $23,000,000 per year. That's $115,000,000 for 5 years. There are only a handful of players that even come close to this.

Summing It All Up

After explaining everything about each sport and revealing their salaries, I still don't know why basketball players get paid more than football players. Maybe it's because their salary cap is bigger or maybe they just drew a number out of a hat and that's what they went with. Either way, I still disagree with what NBA players make.


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    • cfin profile image

      cfin 3 years ago from The World we live in

      An NBA team has a smaller squad to distribute the profits among.

    • profile image

      Chris Koehler 4 years ago

      It comes down to roster size, NFL teams have 53 active members on their roster and another 11 for practice squad while NBA teams have no more than 15 but IDK for sure, and possibly because NBA plays 82 game seasons plus playoffs while NFL plays 16 games a season and 3 more for playoffs. But I agree that NFL players should be paid more because of the risks and even thought they play less games some NFL stadiums hold over 100,000 and usually always sell out while NBA stadiums hold no more than 25,000 and rarely sell 15,000 tickets during the season. Even with the roster size the NFL players should be paid more because the NFL was making 9 BILLION a year in 2009 I bet its bigger now and the NBA isn't even anywhere close to that number..... So like you said Idk either because the amount of money NFL generates each year make it one of the best businesses around and in a different stratosphere than the NBA.