WNBA players are pushing for higher salaries, better travel accommodations and more attention.
Somehow, Harrison Barnes got caught in the crosshairs.
Skylar Diggins, via Wealthsimple:
I’m the highest paid player on the Dallas Wings, and my salary is in the low six figures. [Harrison Barnes, the highest paid player on the Dallas Mavericks, made $24 million last season.] He’s definitely younger than me. Do you know his stats? Was he an All-Star? I mean, it doesn’t matter. But last year, I was First Team All-WNBA, which only goes to five players. I was also a WNBA All-Star for the third time.
Diggins is better in her league than Barnes is in his. But the NBA generates far more revenue than the WNBA.
WNBA players should get as much compensation as they can negotiate. There’s a case they’re underpaid based on current conditions. There’s an even better case their product would improve if they were treated better. Due to the WNBA’s low wages, many WNBA players play overseas during the offseason. Couple that with long commercial flights, the players get worn down.
In that regard – the focus on player wellness, including prioritizing private flights – the NBA can be a model. But in terms of salaries? The league’s financials are just so different. Diggins should find a better comparison point than Barnes.