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Las Vegas Aces center Liz Cambage called out the pay inequity between WNBA coaches and players as Aces coach Becky Hammon gets $1M salary.
It’s hard to quantify just how much basketball’s greatest players deserve to make. Steph Curry made NBA history this season with the most three-pointers ever made, and his second super max contract reflects that. For what Curry contributes to the Warriors franchise, rewarding him with 35 percent of the cap can even seem like he’s being underpaid for his contributions.
But the notion that Curry is underpaid in any way is laughable when contrasted with a super max contract in the WNBA. The financial disparity between the NBA and WNBA has long been discussed, and critics are quick to note that the WNBA makes a great deal less money, making it impossible to compensate professional women ballers the way professional men are paid.
Still, there are discrepancies that could be avoided, like paying a WNBA coach four times the amount a WNBA player is able to make on a super max contract. Aces center Liz Cambage highlighted the disparity between herself and Aces head coach Becky Hammon, mentioning how she is expected to pay to upgrade her seat on flights to games. Cambage made news last year when she started an OnlyFans to compensate for her lacking basketball salary.
Liz Cambage points out the inequity between player, coach salaries in WNBA
Free agency in the WNBA opened on Feb. 1, with some of the league’s biggest players announcing their desire for supermax deals. In the 2022-23 season, that amount is $228,094 this year, and $234,936 next year.
2021 MVP Jonquel Jones took a two-year deal for $205,000 in 2022 and $211,150 in 2023. The person voted most valuable in the league is only getting paid a little over $200K per year, and she’s taking a pay cut so that her other teammates can get paid.
That’s a sharp contrast to Hammon’s salary of $1 million per year, which was disclosed by Aces owner Mark Davis.
Davis owns the Las Vegas Raiders in addition to the Aces, and the ownership of his two teams offers a sharp contrast in how the players he oversees are paid. The average NFL practice squad player with tenure makes about $252,000 per season. NFL players who don’t even make the 53-man roster make more than the maximum amount WNBA players can earn.
While player and travel compensation did improve with the 2020 WNBA CBA, there is clearly still a long way to go, especially when the league’s wealthy owners are capable of paying their male counterparts who never see the field even more.