NBA leads in highest average salary

The NBA rewards its players with the highest average earnings in global sport, researchers revealed Friday.

The basketball stars get an average of $4.79 million per year or $92,199 per week, sportingintelligence.com said.

While Spanish soccer giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, along with the New York Yankees, were revealed Wednesday as sport’s highest paying teams — ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic — the average of all teams across the world’s leagues confirmed that the NBA offered the best place for those chasing sporting riches to ply their trade.

India’s cricket league, the IPL, which hands the game’s global stars multi-million dollar short-term contracts, was the second highest paying league, followed by MLB, the English Premier League, the NFL and the NHL.

The results were published Friday in sportingintelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Report 2011.

Despite its status as the richest league, the NBA is heading for a labor showdown this summer when the collective bargaining agreement expires June 30. Many expect a lengthy lockout to jeopardize the 2011-12 season.