Friday, January 17, 2014

Real and Nominal Average NBA Salaries: 1985-2013

Basketball-Reference.com posts annual salary information for virtually all players from 1985 onwards. This chart shows the nominal average NBA salaries from 1985-2013 (the blue line) as well as the real average NBA salaries from 1985-2013 (the red line), which is simply the average NBA salary for that year adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars.

As you can see, salaries have been grew steadily from 1985-2000 when they started to level off. There was then a slight decrease in the late 2000s. Interestingly, there is a big uptick in average salary this year, I'm not sure why.

Note that the red line is the real average salary. If NBA salaries were merely keeping up with inflation this would be a straight line from 1985-2013. Given its slope you can see that for most of the past 28 years NBA salaries have been growing faster than inflation.



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