Kelsey Plum talked about the differences between the NBA and WNBA in terms of income distribution.

Credit: JEREMY NG / AFP
Credit JEREMY NG / AFP

American basketball star Kelsey Plum, who recently won the WNBA championship with the Las Vegas Aces after spending time with Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in Turkey, was the guest of The Residency Podcast.

Plum shared her views on the big financial differences between the NBA and the WNBA.

Referring to the income inequality between the two organizations, she said female players were misunderstood about their demands.

"We're not asking to get paid what the men get paid," Plum told The Residency Pod.

"We're asking to get paid the same percentage of revenue shared. There is a big misunderstanding here. Let me be clear: I don't think I should make as much money as LeBron. But for example, in Mandalay Bay, they sell my jersey and I don't get a dime," she said. 

Several former WNBA players often have chosen to play overseas during the offseason for additional pay. Overseas, players' salaries could exceed seven figures, something that does not happen in the WNBA. For the upcoming 2023 season, WNBA salaries will range from $62.285 to $234.936, according to a recent story published in The Athletic.

NBA players currently receive approximately 50% of shared revenue, while WNBA players receive only 20% of it.

"In the NBA, they have percentages of revenue shared for the players from jersey sales and TV contracts," Plum argued.

"You see contracts get bigger and bigger every year. But that's because their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) negotiates where the owners are making certain types of money. They get that as well. In the WNBA, that's not the case."

Last season in the WNBA, the highest amount teams could spend in the salary cap was $1.34 million. The teams in the league had to create their squads with this budget. The amount determined for the 2022-23 season in the NBA is $156.98 million.

On an individual basis, the maximum contract that teams can pay their players in the WNBA is $221.450, while in the NBA this amount is about $50 million.

Enhancement of the revenue-sharing model between the WNBA and NBA would put more money in WNBA players' pockets, which is something that Plum and others would like to see happen sooner rather than later.

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