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Nothing Kelsey Plum said as a guest on The Residency podcast in regards to WNBA pay should be a surprise to those paying attention, but with endless rumors and made-up quotes spreading across social media, a reminder is still helpful.
No, WNBA players aren't asking for the same amount of money as their NBA counterparts. They just want the same share of their league's pot.
"I don't think I should get paid the same as LeBron," Plum said, "but the percentage of revenue... for example, they sell my jersey at Mandalay Bay and I don't get a dime."
Plum made All-WNBA First team in 2022 en route to a championship with the Las Vegas Aces. In 2021, her franchise had the third-best-selling jerseys in the WNBA.
"In the NBA, they have percentages of revenue shared for the players. So jersey sales, their TV contracts, every year you see these contracts get bigger and bigger. But that's because their CBA negotiates where the owners make certain types of money, they get that as well. In the WNBA, that's not the case."
Per Her Hoops Stats, the WNBA and WNBPA share a 50-50 split on incremental revenue, not all revenue. The WNBPA can't negotiate for changes in a new collective bargaining agreement until 2025, but it's safe to expect conversations like the one Plum is having to ramp up in the coming years.
Last season was the WNBA's most-watched regular season in 14 years, with viewership up 16 percent across ABC, CBS, ESPN and ESPN2.