MBAs vs. the NBA: The Business vs. the Game

As the two best teams in the NBA, the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, battle to become the 2012 World Champions, we thought it would be fun to compare the numbers between the stars of the finals and some of the best known MBA holders in the world.

To set the stage, NBA players are the highest earning professional athletes, with the average player making $5.15 million a season, and many of highest paid CEOs in the world hold an MBA from some of the world’s top business schools – and earn over $25 million a year!

But while a team with Kevin Durant and LeBron James will always win out on the court, how do they stack up against business titans such as Phil Knight and Tim Cook? How about the Heat and the Thunder against Harvard and Stanford business schools? Here are some of our findings:

  • The average salary for an NBA rookie taken in the first round is $1.7 million per season, while a recent MBA graduate’s average salary is $91K a year.
  • Harvard Business School’s endowment is $2.8 billion — almost four times the worth of the Heat and Thunder combined!
  • The average age of an NBA player is 26 years old, compared to the average incoming MBA student being 28 years old.

Read more about the highest earning MBAs an NBA players, as well as the intersection of business schools and basketball in our infographic.

MBA vs. NBA infographic

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