Updated: Jan 5
Sue Bird and Lebron James are two of the best athletes to play the game of basketball. However, many people dismiss Sue as a G.O.A.T. because she is a woman. But Lebron and Sue have played the same number of seasons professionally, and both have 4 championship titles to their names. These two legends are UNMATCHED from the rest of their counterparts, but also UNMATCHED from each other.
Recently with these two championships, the comparison of Sue and Lebron’s salaries has been the spotlight of many articles and segments on television, even with the same number of seasons and titles. In 2020 James’s salary was 37.4 million dollars whereas Sue only brought in $215,000 during her championship year with the Seattle Storm.
Lebron gets paid on average around $40 million a season, before bonuses, and Sue hit the salary cap for the WNBA of $215,000 a year. This totals more than 3.5 million dollars for her 17 years with the Seattle Storm. Sue Bird's entire career earnings are roughly 9.35% of Lebron’s entire 2020 season base salary. Even more shocking, Lebron's career earning just eclipsed over $1 billion. This means that Sue Bird's career earnings, including endorsements and sponsorships, are just 0.60% of LeBron's salary (without endorsements or sponsorships). After winning the fourth championship Lebron is reported to have walked away with $370,000, however, Sue only collected $11,356. Yet again, only a small fraction at 3.07% of what her male counterpart earned.
As Sue Bird clarified on a podcast earlier this month, “I don’t think we should get the same money as NBA players … People think we think that when we say things like WE WANT EQUALITY”. Bird said that in reality, she believes that the call for equality between the NBA and WNBA are less revolving around salaries but more about the equality of investment and exposure of the WNBA.
The Fight for equality in the WNBA is just getting started. And who knows, maybe one day we'll be discussing equal pay in salaries!
These two basketball goats are UNMATCHED from their teammates and competitors, but TRULY UNMATCHED from each other.
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