David Stern

What salary does NBA commissioner David Stern make?

It seems no one is sure.

The New York Daily News, reporting in February of 2011, said that several sources suggest Stern earned $23 million the previous season.

And today, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reports the following:

Strange, but the union never has the courage to bring up the mystery surrounding Stern’s salary. Many owners don’t even know what Stern makes. “I’d say three or less know,” one NBA owner told Yahoo! Sports. Several believe it’s somewhere in the range of $20 million to $23 million a year, but no one knows for sure. Maybe it’s more than that, but the fact that some owners don’t know the answer is beyond belief.

Mostly, it speaks to the authoritarian culture created within the league office, and how Stern carries it out through the NBA. Some younger owners have been warned to never push the issue with him, never ask, because it’s simply unadvisable to get on the wrong side of the commissioner.

Assuming this is in the general ballpark, it sounds like David Stern’s salary is at least $20 million for the season, and perhaps a bit more.

That’s a lot of money. But it’s a big job. Commissioners of top sports leagues, CEO’s of big companies, etc. are well-paid people.