The NBA and NBPA released its audit of basketball related income (BRI) for the 2010-11 season late on Friday afternoon and among the findings revealed by the league:
- BRI increased by 4.8 percent from $3.643 billion in 2009-10 to $3.817 billion in 2010-11.
- Total player compensation also increased by 4.8 percent from $2.076 billion in 2009-10 to $2.176 billion in 2010-11. This marks the sixth consecutive season that player compensation increased under the expired CBA.
- Total player compensation equaled 57 percent of BRI.
- The average player salary for the 2010-11 season was $5.15 million. Over the six-year term of the expired CBA, the average player salary increased by a total of 16 percent.
A couple of things to keep in mind from the league’s release.
Under the expired CBA, player salaries are directly tied into the BRI with 57 percent set as the cut-off figure. In other words, the system worked as it was intended as the players received 57 percent of the BRI. Their salaries are tied to basketball revenues and so when the latter increases, so does the former.
The key word in the last part is total: as in the cumulative total over a six-year period is 16 percent, not a 16 percent rise from one year to the next.
This is spin on the part of the NBA, which has claimed that teams are losing money even as revenue has increased, owing mostly to rising player salaries. They will also undoubtedly counter that other expenses are rising that don’t affect the BRI and thus the player’s salaries. The union has proposed cutting that 57 percent number, but the owners want a total overhaul of the system.