NBA Referee Salary 2023: who is the highest paid?

NBA is undoubtedly one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world, where the game is played within the rules and fairly, ensuring a great game behind every team’s referees. However, it’s a league that brings talented athletes from around the world, who bring intense competition to the game.

These Refs are the ones who earn more based on their skills management match and experience. Even among NBA Referees, those who are considered better than others are also considered the best referees of all time.

How Much does a NBA Referee Make?

NBA referees are some of the highest-paid officials in professional sports, with a salary that range from $150,000 to $550,000 per year.

Referees can earn a fee for officiating each game during the season, with the amount varying depending on their level of experience. In addition, they receive a range of benefits including travel expenses, retirement plans, and healthcare.

Starting NBA referees, also known as “rookies,” typically earn an annual salary of around $250,000. As they gain experience over the span of three to five years, their salary can rise to up to $500,000.

NBA referees earn an average salary of between $6,100 and $3,000 per game during the regular season. However, during the postseason, they have the opportunity to make additional earnings ranging from $5,000 to $800, which is not included in this amount.

In 2023, James Capers, the NBA’s highest paid referee, is expected to earn a yearly salary of $550,000 along with $9,000 in fees for each playoff game.

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James Capers Sr., Who also served as an official in the NBA, played a role in his decision to pursue a career in refereeing. Before joining the NBA with Xerox, he worked as a salesman for the company. James Capers’ NBA career spans over 28 seasons and includes officiating more than 1,500 games since his early days refereeing high school basketball.

In 2018, the referee selected for the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles was Capers, who has officiated a total of 178 playoff games, including 14 Finals games, throughout his time in the NBA.

Despite these statistics and proof, he is currently not among the top 10 greatest referees in NBA history.

Top 10 Highest Paid NBA Referees in 2022-23

Officials Match Fees Play-Off Match Fees Semifinal and Final Match Fees Yearly Earnings
James Capers 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Sean Corbin 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Tony Brothers 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Rodney Mott 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Scott Foster 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Ken Mauer 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Pat Fraher 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Tom Washington 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Marc Davis 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 29.000 $ 550.000 $
Eric Lewis 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Michael Smith 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Leon Wood 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Tony Brown 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Leon Wood 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
David Guthrie 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
John Goble 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Leroy Richardson 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Scott Wall 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Sean Wright 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Mar.000 Ayotte 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $
Derek Richardson 7.000 $ 9.000 $ 25.000 $ 500.000 $

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