Visualizing the Yearly Salary of Professional Athletes, NBA Players Average $5+ Million a Year

Growing up, basketball was my thing. I dreamed of supporting my family with my mediocre jump shot, my 5' 8" frame in the 4th grade and becoming an NBA All Star by the time I was 19. Sure enough, my growth spurt capped at 6', I quit basketball junior year of high school, and any chance I had of averaging $5.15 million a year in the NBA was quickly sidelined (pun-intended).

That's right, $5.15 million a year multiplied by the average NBA career length of 4.8 years, I would have netted $24.7 million. Those are the latest salary figures, visualized by the folks at Sports Interaction. Looks like I should have gotten better at basketball while I had the chance.

The figures are staggering, with NBA's average player salary clocking in at $5.15 million, $1.85 million more than players in Major League Baseball who average close to $3.2 million a year. Major League Soccer rounds out the bottom of the list, with players making a relatively meager average salary of $0.16 million.

The following graphic carries a myriad of interesting visualizations and observations, such as Kobe Bryant essentially getting paid $37,940 per field goal (made basket) in 2012 while Alex Rodriguez netted $253,968 per hit in the same year:

Infographic via / @SIAsports