NBA commissioner David Stern was vilified by fans and players for his role in the lockout that erased 20% of last season. But Stern works for the owners, and it appears the commish, who is retiring in 12 months after 30 years in charge, is going out on top. Stern is worth every penny of his salary, estimated to approach $20 million.
The NBA locked out its players in the hopes of constraining their salaries, boosting profitability and raising franchise values. A year later, owners should be ecstatic with the results.
The average NBA team is worth $509 million, a 30% increase over last year. The increase is due to higher revenue from television, new and renovated arenas, and the NBA’s new collective-bargaining agreement, which reduced player costs from 57% of revenues to roughly 50%. The labor deal also increased the amount of money high-revenue teams provide low-revenue teams.